The use of virtual environments (VE) for training perceptual-motors skills in sports continues to be a rapidly growing area. However, there is a dearth of research that has examined whether training in sports simulation transfers to the real task. In this study, the transfer of perceptual-motor skills trained in an adaptive baseball batting VE to real baseball performance was investigated. Eighty participants were assigned equally to groups undertaking adaptive hitting training in the VE, extra sessions of batting practice in the VE, extra sessions of real batting practice, and a control condition involving no additional training to the players regular practice. Training involved two 45 min sessions per week for 6 weeks. Performance on a batting test in the VE, in an on-field test of batting, and on a pitch recognition test was measured pre- and post-training. League batting statistics in the season following training and the highest level of competition reached in the following 5 years were also analyzed. For the majority of performance measures, the adaptive VE training group showed a significantly greater improvement from pre-post training as compared to the other groups. In addition, players in this group had superior batting statistics in league play and reached higher levels of competition. Training in a VE can be used to improve real, on-field performance especially when designers take advantage of simulation to provide training methods (e.g., adaptive training) that do not simply recreate the real training situation.
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|Subjects:||baseball training technique sports equipment training method training means perception cognition skill|
|Published in:||Frontiers in Psychology|