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Arthur D. Fisk and Wendy A. Rogers

Two important questions are addressed in this article. The first concerns whether performance of well-learned skills is maintained as individuals grow older. The second question concerns whether older adults are able to acquire new skills. The answer to both questions is “yes”; however, the acquisition rate and the final performance level for newly acquired skills is generally less for older adults than for younger adults. The article resolves an apparent puzzle of how it is that older adults are capable of successful performance of everyday activities, given noted declines in cognitive-ability-type tasks shown for performance in laboratory studies. A brief discussion of age-related training strategies to enhance skill learning is provided.

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Simon A. Rogers, Peter Hassmén, Alexandra H. Roberts, Alison Alcock, Wendy L. Gilleard, and John S. Warmenhoven

Purpose: A novel 4-task Athlete Introductory Movement Screen was developed and tested to provide an appropriate and reliable movement screening tool for youth sport practitioners. Methods: The overhead squat, lunge, push-up, and a prone brace with shoulder touches were selected based on previous assessments. A total of 28 mixed-sport junior athletes (18 boys and 10 girls; mean age = 15.7 [1.8] y) completed screening after viewing standardized demonstration videos. Athletes were filmed performing 8 repetitions of each task and assessed retrospectively by 2 independent raters using a 3-point scale. The primary rater reassessed the footage 3 weeks later. A subgroup (n = 11) repeated the screening 7 days later, and a further 8 athletes were reassessed 6 months later. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), typical error (TE), coefficient of variation (CV%), and weighted kappa (k) were used in reliability analysis. Results: For the Athlete Introductory Movement Screen 4-task sum score, intrarater reliability was high (ICC = .97; CV = 2.8%), whereas interrater reliability was good (intraclass correlation coefficient = .88; CV = 5.6%). There was a range of agreement from fair to almost perfect (k = .31–.89) between raters across individual movements. A 7-day and 6-month test–retest held good reliability and acceptable CVs (≤ 10%) for sum scores. Conclusion: The 4-task Athlete Introductory Movement Screen appears to be a reliable tool for profiling emerging athletes. Reliability was strongest within the same rater; it was lower, yet acceptable, between 2 raters. Scores can provide an overview of appropriate movement competencies, helping practitioners assess training interventions in the athlete development pathway.