Objectives To date, research concerning analogy and explicit instruction has focused on motor learning (i.e., change or development over many learning trials) with limited attention directed toward acute performance considerations. Accordingly, the present study examined the short-term, differential effects of analogy and explicit instructions on motor control. Methods and design Employing a within-subjects semi-counterbalanced design, 20 novice adult participants performed a dart-throwing task under baseline, analogy, and explicit instruction conditions. Across all throwing trials, movement and performance were evaluated using the dependent variables of throwing accuracy, elbow joint variability, angular velocity, and throw duration. Results Analyses did not reveal any statistically significant differences between analogy and explicit instructions for any of the study’s dependent measures. Compared to baseline performances, participants in both verbal instruction conditions demonstrated significantly less accuracy, significantly greater elbow joint variability, significantly slower angular velocity, and significantly longer throwing times. Conclusions Findings suggest that verbal instruction may differentially affect performance in motor control situations, compared to motor learning contexts, leading to reduced accuracy; slower, more deliberate control; and increased levels of movement variability. Going forward, practitioners may need to more carefully consider not only how motor skills are instructed, but also the purpose and timing of any instructions.
- motor control
- explicit instruction
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- Moray House School of Education and Sport - Lecturer in Sports Psychology
- Academy of Sport
- Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences
Person: Academic: Research Active