Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

An Investigation into the Hierarchical Nature of Motor Skill Development

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

An Investigation into the Hierarchical Nature of Motor Skill Development

Article excerpt

Justen O'Connor, Jeff Walkley, and Bernie Holland, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University

Little experimental research has been completed that has tested the theory of hierarchical acquisition of motor skill competence. Two separate but related studies were used to test the theory. In the first study, a hierarchical model of sequential physical and motor skill development was proposed for the skip. Physical measures were obtained for dynamic balance and bilateral coordination while skill measures were obtained for the run, jump, hop and skip. Data were collected on a total of 195 participants comprising 98 boys and 97 girls aged between 5 (62 months) and 11 years (138 months) (X = 103 months, SD = 18). Results obtained via path analysis modeling revealed the data did not support the proposed model for the sequential progression of skill of the skip. The second study included two phases. In the first phase, using established procedures, criterion-referenced tests were developed for four fundamental motor skills (overhand throw, two-hand side-arm strike, ball bounce, catch) and twelve sport specific skills believed to be hierarchically linked to the overhand throw and two-hand sidearm strike (tennis serve, badminton clear, lacrosse pass, baseball pitch, gridiron throw, javelin, volleyball serve, baseball strike, hockey drive, tennis forehand, golf swing and cricket cut-shot). …

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