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Variation in coordination of a discrete multiarticular action as a function of skill level

By J-Y Chow, K Davids, C Button and M Koh


The authors investigated coordination modes that emerged as a function of the interaction between skill level and task constraints in a multiarticular kicking action. Five skilled, 5 intermediate, and 5 novice participants attempted to satisfy specific height and accuracy constraints in kicking a ball over a barrier. Skilled and intermediate groups demonstrated a functional coordination mode involving less joint involvement at the proximal joints and greater joint involvement at distal joints, mimicking a chip-like action in soccer. Conversely, the novice group tended to produce larger ranges of motion throughout the kicking limb in a driving-like kicking action. Key differences were also found for task outcome scores, joint angle-angle relations, and ball-trajectory plots between the skilled and intermediate groups and the novice group. Findings from this study demonstrated that joint involvement during this discrete multiarticular action is a function of skill level and task constraints rather than a consequence of a global freezing-freeing strategy suggested in some previous research. The authors also highlight the merit of using a model of the acquisition of coordination in examining how coordination modes for multiarticular actions differ as a function of skil

Publisher: Psychology Press
Year: 2007
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