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Ronnie Lidor, Gershon Tenenbaum, Gal Ziv and Vladimir Issurin

Deliberate practice (DP), an activity aimed at enhancing an individual’s performance, has been reported to be crucial for achieving a state of expertise in various domains, such as education, music, and sport. In this article, the relationships between DP and the process of athletic performance adaptation are explored by elaborating on the main principle of the theory of training—periodization. We argue that periodization should be considered as a mechanism for ensuring DP, and that the implementation of periodization principles (cycles and phases) in DP activities can facilitate adaptation processes leading to expert performance. We describe the characteristics and features of DP, review a series of studies on DP and athletic performance (N = 21), discuss the importance of periodization in sport training, and outline a number of benefits of periodization. A model that emphasizes the link between periodization and DP activities in each phase of sport development is proposed, and a number of research approaches to address periodization are discussed.

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Patricia S. Pohl and Carolee J. Winstein

The purpose of ihis study was to compare the effects of a single practice session on performance strategies used by young and older adults to decrease movement time (MT) while maintaining accuracy of an aiming task. Five young and 5 older adult males practiced until each accumulated 500 target hits in each of two complexity conditions as defined by Fitts’s law. Participants decreased MT with practice; however, older adults had longer MTs than the young, particularly in the high-complexity condition. With practice in the low-complexity condition, participants decreased absolute acceleration and deceleration times but maintained the relative amount of MT devoted to temporal phases. In contrast, with practice in the high-complexity condition, participants decreased absolute deceleration and dwell time and changed the temporal structure. Results suggest that older adults can decrease MT with practice and that the performance strategies adopted to speed performance are more a function of task complexity than age.

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Bradley W. Young, Nikola Medic, Patricia L. Weir and Janet L. Starkes

Researchers have contended that patterns of age-related decline are not necessarily due to age, but rather to disuse, or declining practice (Bortz, 1982; Ericsson, 2000; Maharam, Bauman, Kalman, Skolnik, & Perle, 1999). A regression approach was used to examine age and training variables as predictors of 10-km running performance between 40 and 59 years of age. A sample of 30 Masters runners (M age = 50.1 years, M 10-km time = 39:19) reported data for ongoing training, cumulative running in the past 5 years, and cumulative running earlier in a career. In Analysis 1, ongoing training variables explained more variance in performance than age alone, and reduced the unique variance attributable to age in a combined model. In Analysis 2, findings were replicated using past cumulative running variables and age; running in the past 5 years explained more unique variance than age alone. Discussion focuses on how findings relate to the selective maintenance account (Krampe & Ericsson, 1996), how various aspects of training help to preserve performance in aging populations, and recommendations for future research.

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Jared Porter, Hubert Makaruk and Marcin Starzak

According to the constrained action hypothesis, an external focus of attention is beneficial for motor learning due to improvements in movement automization. In contrast, an internal focus of attention interferes with automaticity and decreases the effects of motor learning. This study was designed to test the automaticity assumption of the focus of attention effect within a highly skilled population. We examined the effects of attentional focus on kinematics in rope jumping and visual control. Participants practiced the rope-jumping task over five days of acquisition, which was followed by a retention and transfer test. The findings provided evidence that the learning of the task was improved and automaticity was increased by the external focus compared with the internal focus and no attentional (i.e., control condition) conditions. In addition, these findings indicate that visual attention as a function of attentional focus has a stronger relationship with practice performance rather than with motor learning effects.

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Mark Urtel, Sara F. Michaliszyn and Craig Stiemsma

Internships in higher education are not a new practice. In fact, it is generally noted that the first formal internship program occurred in 1889 at Johns Hopkins Medical School ( Wentz & Ford, 1984 ). Prior to this, medical school faculty were developing ways for medical “apprentices” to acquire

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Hebe Schaillée, Ramón Spaaij, Ruth Jeanes and Marc Theeboom

Knowledge translation has emerged as an important area of research activity to enhance the fit between research-based knowledge and its application in policy and practice ( Greenhalgh & Wieringa, 2011 ). National competitive research funding schemes increasingly demand that applicants demonstrate

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Steve M. Smith, Stewart T. Cotterill and Hazel Brown

environments, instead spending most of their time in practice environments. As such, a far greater understanding of the impact these practice environments can have on athletes’ mental states is required if we are to truly understand the psychological factors that both influence and determine performance

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April Karlinsky and Nicola J. Hodges

People often learn motor skills in a social setting with a similarly skilled co-learner. One of the advantages of practicing in a group is that you can watch your partner and learn from their performance. However, there may also be disadvantages associated with practicing alongside someone else

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David R. Bassett, Patty S. Freedson and Dinesh John

, less than perfect measure that is highly related to health. Today, BMI has been universally accepted and is widely used in clinical practice and public health surveillance. Similar to BMI, steps per day is easy to comprehend and has the potential to provide a simple, standardized metric with tremendous

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Jerraco L. Johnson, Peter A. Hastie, Mary E. Rudisill and Danielle Wadsworth

( Butterfield & Loovis, 1993 ; East & Hensley, 1985 ) which make the study of overhand throwing particularly relevant. Johnson, Rudisill, Hastie, and Sassi ( 2019 ) conducted a study on the influence of guided practice on overhand throwing development and found practice to be a more important predictor