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Changing ecological constraints of practice alters coordination of dynamic interceptive actions

By I Renshaw, A Oldham, K Davids and T Golds


The ecological constraints of practice have a significant effect on the acquisition of functional information-movement couplings and learners need to converge on information-specifying perceptual variables. Consequently, the prolonged and widespread use of ball projection machines for the practice of interceptive actions may lack theoretical foundation because they afford information-specifying variables that are not present in competition. The timing and coordination of the forward defensive stroke in cricket batting were examined in experienced batters under two typical practice task constraints: batting against a representative “real” bowler and a representative bowling machine (mean delivery velocity 26.76 m·s-1 under both conditions). Significant adaptation of coordination and timing was observed under the different practice task constraints. For example, initiation of the backswing was later against a bowler and downswing was faster with a different ratio of backswing-downswing when batting against the bowling machine (47%-53%) compared with the bowler (54%-46%). Peak bat height differed under the two constraints (bowling machine: mean 1.56 m, s=19.89; bowler: 1.72 m, s=10.36 m). Mean length of front foot stride was shorter against the bowling machine (0.55 m, s=0.07 m) than the bowler (0.59 m, s=0.06 m). The correlation between initiation of backswing and front foot movement was much higher against the bowler (r = 0.88) than the bowling machine (r=0.65)

Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2007
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