Quiet- eye in older skilled basketball players and its transferability

There is mounting research to suggest that cognitive and motor expertise are more resistant to age-related decline than more general capacities (Schorer & Baker, 2009). Two theoretical frameworks are commonly used to explain the maintenance of peak performance: compensation and selective-maintenance (Baker & Schorer, 2010). The primary aim of this study was to investigate the retention of quiet-eye skills in elderly experts with continued training at a lower league. We hypothesized that highly skilled older athletes would outperform novices and have little decrement in their perceptual processes in comparison to highly skilled younger athletes. Secondly, we wanted to explore the transferability of this skill to a different domain like dart. Methods: The study investigated the retention and transfer of skill in skilled-older athletes (n=13) by comparing them with skilled-younger (n=13) and novice-younger participants (n=13). They performed basketball free throws and dart throws under standardized conditions. Motor performance (accuracy) and perceptual performance (quiet-eye) were examined across the three groups. Results: There were significant differences between groups in throwing accuracy on both throwing tasks, basketball, F(2,37) = 45.35, p < .01, f = 1.56, and dart, F(2,37) = 6.90, p < .01, f = .61, with skilled groups outperforming novices but not differing from each other. There were medium sized, non-significant effects for quiet-eye, with skilled groups having longer quiet-eye durations than the novice group on the basketball tasks, F(2,35) = 1.23, p = .30, f = .27, TP = .27, but younger groups having longer durations than the older group on the transfer task, F(2,35) = 2.50, p = .10, f = .38, TP = .50. Discussion: The results indicate expertise in a perceptual-motor task like basketball free throw can be retained in older athletes. But the perceptual skill was not transferred into dart throwing, although a better throwing accuracy was obtained. These results raise questions concerning current hypotheses of skill maintenance, which should be re-evaluated to consider the issue of transfer.
© Copyright 2012 17th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS), Bruges, 4. -7. July 2012. Published by Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All rights reserved.

Subjects: basketball performance capacity movement precision relation eye perception throws
Notations: sport games biological and medical sciences
Published in: 17th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS), Bruges, 4. -7. July 2012
Editors: R. Meeusen, J. Duchateau, B. Roelands, M. Klass, B. De Geus, S. Baudry, E. Tsolakidis
Published: Br├╝gge Vrije Universiteit Brussel 2012
Pages: 81
Document types: congress proceedings
Language: English
Level: advanced