Increasing functional variability in the preparatory phase of the takeoff improves elite springboard diving performance

Barris, Sian, Farrow, Damian, & Davids, Keith (2014) Increasing functional variability in the preparatory phase of the takeoff improves elite springboard diving performance. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 85(1), pp. 97-106.

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Previous research demonstrating that specific performance outcome goals can be achieved in different ways is functionally significant for springboard divers whose performance environment can vary extensively. This body of work raises questions about the traditional approach of balking (terminating the takeoff) by elite divers aiming to perform only identical, invariant movement patterns during practice. METHOD: A 12-week training program (2 times per day; 6.5 hr per day) was implemented with 4 elite female springboard divers to encourage them to adapt movement patterns under variable takeoff conditions and complete intended dives, rather than balk. RESULTS: Intraindividual analyses revealed small increases in variability in the board-work component of each diver's pretraining and posttraining program reverse-dive takeoffs. No topological differences were observed between movement patterns of dives completed pretraining and posttraining. Differences were noted in the amount of movement variability under different training conditions (evidenced by higher normalized root mean square error indexes posttraining). An increase in the number of completed dives (from 78.91%-86.84% to 95.59%-99.29%) and a decrease in the frequency of balked takeoffs (from 13.16%-19.41% to 0.63%-4.41%) showed that the elite athletes were able to adapt their behaviors during the training program. These findings coincided with greater consistency in the divers' performance during practice as scored by qualified judges. CONCLUSION: Results suggested that on completion of training, athletes were capable of successfully adapting their movement patterns under more varied takeoff conditions to achieve greater consistency and stability of performance outcomes.

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ID Code: 88535
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: adaptive movement pattern, neurobiological degeneracy, practice
DOI: 10.1080/02701367.2013.872220
ISSN: 0270-1367
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 05 Nov 2015 03:41
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2015 03:41

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