This study examined the effectiveness of visual and verbal models during the initial phase of complex sport shill acquisition in children. Thirty-six girls between the ages of 7-0 and 8-11 years were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions in a 3 x4 (Model Type xTrial Block) factorial design. A visual model performing an underhand modified softball pitch was viewed prior to each of four blocks of five practice trials. Verbal performance cues were added to the model at the second, third, orfourth trial block, according to the experimental condition. A multivariate repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a significant trial block main effect, with subjects showing improved matching of form kinematics to the model with increasing trials but no differences in performance outcome. More dramatic changes coincident with the addition of verbal cues were observed for some kinematic variables. Children exhibited better cognitive recognition of correct form as a function of increased exposure to the visual model.
- Sport skill acquisition