Changing ecological constraints of practice alters coordination of dynamic interceptive actions

Renshaw, Ian, Oldham, Anthony R., Davids, Keith W., & Golds, Tim (2007) Changing ecological constraints of practice alters coordination of dynamic interceptive actions. European Journal of Sport Science, 7(3), pp. 157-167.


Ecological constraints of practice significantly affect the acquisition of functional information-movement couplings and learners need to converge on information-specifying perceptual variables. Consequently, prolonged and widespread use of ball projection machines for practice of interceptive actions may lack theoretical foundation because they afford information-specifying variables which are not present in competitive performance. To examine this issue, 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 (B) and a representative bowling machine (BM) (mean delivery velocity 26.76 m s-1 under both conditions). Results showed significant adaptation of coordination and timing 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 in the BM condition (47%: 53%) compared to B (54%: 46%). Peak bat height differed under the two constraints (BM: 1.56m, s=19.89 m and B: 1.72m, s=10.36 m). Mean length of front foot stride was shorter against the BM (0.55m, s=0.07 m) compared to B (0.59m, s=0.06 m). Correlation between initiation of backswing and front foot movement was much higher against B (r=0.88) than BM (r=0.65). Results suggested that coaches should ensure opportunities for regular practice against 'real' bowlers, so that batters become attuned to the information available for pick up in those specific practice constraints. Projectile machines may be best used under special conditions in which coaches randomise the bounce point and deliver balls at slower speeds to allow batters to sample early ball flight before selecting shot responses.

Impact and interest:

41 citations in Scopus
34 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,681 since deposited on 06 Aug 2007
145 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 8871
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: information, movement coupling, interceptive actions, ecological constraints, specificity of practice
ISSN: 1536-7290
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Sport and Exercise Psychology (170114)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Motor Control (110603)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in European Journal of Sport Science 7(3):pp. 157-167.
Deposited On: 06 Aug 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:37

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page