Perception of Affordances for Vertical and Horizontal Jumping in Children: Gymnasts Versus Non-Athletes

Alper Tunga Peker, Nurtekin Erkmen, Yagmur Kocaoglu, Yasemin Bayraktar, Abdullah Arguz, Jeffrey B. Wagman, Thomas A. Stoffregen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: We investigated the perception of affordances for vertical jumping-and-reaching and horizontal jumping by children. Method: In the horizontal task, children were asked to judge their ability in the standing long jump. In the vertical task, children were asked to judge the height of a ball that they could run to, jump up, and reach with their fingertips. Following judgments, children performed both types of jumps. We compared gymnasts (children with at least 2 years of gymnastics training; 7.92 ± 0.91 years) versus children with no competitive athletic experience (7.74 ± 0.86 years). Results: As expected, actual ability was greater in gymnasts than in non-athletes, for both types of jump (each p <.001). We separately analyzed Constant Error and Absolute Error of judgments (relative to actual performance). Results revealed that gymnasts tended toward underestimation, while non-athletes tended toward overestimation. Absolute error differed between tasks for the non-athletes (p <.001), but for the gymnasts the difference between conditions was not significant (p =.25). Absolute error differed between groups for vertical jump-and-reach (p <.01) but not for horizonal jump (p =.17). Conclusions: Gymnastics experience was associated with a generalized tendency for children to underestimate their jumping ability. In addition, gymnastics experience was associated with judgment accuracy that was consistent across tasks. The results reveal that gymnastics training is associated with changes in athletic ability, but also with changes in the perception of affordances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-778
Number of pages9
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number4
Early online dateAug 27 2020
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Gymnastics
  • learning
  • long jump
  • training

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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