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Acquisition of a Complex Basketball-Dribbling Task in School Children as a Function of Bilateral Practice Order


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The purpose of this study was to investigate order-of-practice effects for the acquisition of a complex basketball skill in a bilateral transfer paradigm. The task required participants to dribble as fast as possible in slalom-like movements across six javelins and return to the initial position. Fifty-two right-handed school children (M age = 11.7years) practiced this skill in eight sessions over 4 weeks under one of two training schedules: (a) with the dominant hand, before changing to their nondominant hand (D-ND group), or (b) with the nondominant hand, before changing to the dominant hand (ND-D group). All tests were conducted with the right hand or the left hand only, and a transfer test was given with both hands alternating. The results of a retention test yielded significantly larger learning gains for the ND-D group as compared to the D-ND group. It is interesting that this performance advantage was independent of the respective hand tested. The same pattern of result was found in the transfer test, with significantly shorter movement times for the ND-D group with both hands alternating. Such order-of-practice effects for the acquisition of complex skills can be explained with hemispheric brain asymmetries for the processing of specific task requirements.
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188 RQES: June 2011
Stöckel, Weigelt, and Krug
Key words: early motor learning, hemispheric specializa-
tion, intermanual transfer
odern game sports such as basketball or soccer re-
quire athletes to execute complex skills not only on
their preferred side using their dominant hand (or foot),
but also on their nonpreferred side. Especially in competi-
tive play, when athletes face pressure from opponents and
when they have to select an appropriate action under
time constraints, the flexible use of the dominant and
nondominant hand (or foot) is crucial for successful play.
For example, in order for a basketball player to shield the
ball from an opponent, he or she must be able to dribble
equally well with the dominant and the nondominant
hand. Similarly, a player should be able to rebound a
loose ball returning from the rim with the dominant or
nondominant hand. These and other situations render
the variable use of complex sport skills on both sides of
the body a necessity for successful play in modern game
sports. While this principle is shared by most coaches
and athletes, the issue of systematic bilateral skill acquisi-
tion is often neglected in today’s practice schedules. The
purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects
of two bilateral practice schedules on the acquisition of a
basketball dribbling skill.
It is well documented that practicing a motor skill
with one hand (or foot) can also result in performance
improvements in the opposite (contralateral) effector
(e.g., Criscimagna-Hemminger, Donchin, Gazzaniga, &
Shadmehr, 2003; Sainburg & Wang, 2002; Teixeira, 2000).
Most research studies in support of such intermanual
transfer effects have focused mainly on simple movement
tasks, such as finger tapping (Laszlo, Baguley, & Bairstow,
1970), writing and drawing (e.g., Parlow & Kinsbourne,
1989; Raibert, 1977), key pressing (Taylor & Heilman,
1980), pursuit rotor tracking (e.g., Byrd, Gibson, &
Gleason, 1986; Parker-Taillon & Kerr, 1989), or pointing
during visuo-motor perturbations (e.g., Sainburg & Wang,
2002, Wang & Sainburg, 2004a) as well as dynamic pertur-
bations (Wang & Sainburg, 2004b). However, there have
Acquisition of a Complex Basketball-Dribbling Task in
School Children as a Function of Bilateral Practice Order
Tino Stöckel, Matthias Weigelt, and Jürgen Krug
Submitted: March 25, 2009
Accepted: January 24, 2010
Tino Stöckel is with the Neurocognition and Action Group
at Bielefeld University. Matthias Weigelt is with the Insti-
tute of Sport Science at Saarland University. Jürgen Krug
is with the Faculty of Sport Sciences at Leipzig University.
The purpose of this study was to investigate order-of-practice effects for the acquisition of a complex basketball skill in a bilateral
transfer paradigm. The task required participants to dribble as fast as possible in slalom-like movements across six javelins and return
to the initial position. Fifty-two right-handed school children (M age = 11.7 years) practiced this skill in eight sessions over 4 weeks
under one of two training schedules: (a) with the dominant hand, before changing to their nondominant hand (D-ND group), or (b)
with the nondominant hand, before changing to the dominant hand (ND-D group). All tests were conducted with the right hand or
the left hand only, and a transfer test was given with both hands alternating. The results of a retention test yielded significantly larger
learning gains for the ND-D group as compared to the D-ND group. It is interesting that this performance advantage was indepen-
dent of the respective hand tested. The same pattern of result was found in the transfer test, with significantly shorter movement times
for the ND-D group with both hands alternating. Such order-of-practice effects for the acquisition of complex skills can be explained
with hemispheric brain asymmetries for the processing of specific task requirements.
Motor Behavior
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
©2011 by the American Alliance for Health,
Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Vol. 82, No. 2, pp. 188197
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RQES: June 2011 189
Stöckel, Weigelt, and Krug
also been some transfer studies using more complex tasks,
such as dribbling and kicking skills in soccer (Haaland &
Hoff, 2003; Teixeira, Silva, & Carvalho, 2003), throwing
in basketball (Stöckel, Hartmann & Weigelt, 2007), and
performing particular dance routines (Puretz, 1983).
It is interesting that all of these studies have reported
asymmetrical transfer between two homologous limbs,
indicating that the amount of skill transfer varies from one
side of the body to the other side. Therefore, and despite
the differences between these previous studies (e.g., dif-
ferences in task complexity, the amounts of practice, and
the level of proficiency), they suggest sequential effects on
the acquisition of motor skills, such as that the initial side
of the body practiced (dominant vs. nondominant) influ-
ences the amount of skill transferred to the other side.
Following this notion, systematic investigations of such
sequential effects on the acquisition of complex motor
skills after equally distributed practice with the dominant
and nondominant hand (or foot) are required to provide
a better picture of how the acquisition of complex motor
skills should be structured.
One approach for systematically investigating sequen-
tial effects after initial practice with the dominant versus
nondominant hand (or foot) is to consider the inherent
task parameters and/or the underlying motor compo-
nents specifying a particular motor skill (e.g., Carson,
1989; Sainburg, 2002; Teixeira, 2000). This approach is in
line with Sainburg’s (2002) dynamic-dominance hypoth-
esis of handedness and the proposal that independent
neural systems control different movement features. In
this regard, a greater proficiency of the left-brain–right-
hand system has been demonstrated in the control of
trajectory dynamics, while the right-brain–left-hand system
appears to better specify the final position of a movement
(e.g., Bagesteiro & Sainburg, 2003; Sainburg & Kalakanis,
2000; Sainburg & Wang, 2002; Wang & Sainburg, 2004b).
Also, some evidence suggests at least partial transfer of
force control from the dominant, right limb, to the non-
dominant, left limb (Criscimagna-Hemminger et al., 2003;
Farthing, Chilibeck, & Binsted, 2005; Teixeira & Caminha,
2003). Sainburg’s (2002) dynamic dominance hypothesis
also fits with a more general model of brain asymmetries
and hemispheric specialization, which assumes that distrib-
uted brain networks are cooperating during motor perfor-
mance (e.g., Birbaumer, 2007; Serrien, Ivry, & Swinnen,
2006). Thereby, it is understood that “both hemispheres
are likely to be involved in the performance of any complex
task, but with each contributing in their specialized man-
ner” (Gazzaniga, Ivry, & Mangun, 1998, p. 369).
While much research confirms asymmetric transfer
after dominant and nondominant hand (or foot) practice
of simple motor tasks, physical education teachers and
other practitioners are especially interested in such se-
quential effects on the acquisition of complex sport skills.
Two recent studies investigated sequential effects after
extended practice of the dominant and nondominant
leg in experienced, adolescent soccer players (Haaland
& Hoff, 2003; Teixeira et al., 2003). Haaland and Hoff
(2003) tested two groups using two standardized foot-
tapping tasks (two- and three-position foot-tapping) and
three soccer-specific tests (dribbling, volley goal shot, and
passing against a mini-goal). During a training period
over several weeks, one group used only their dominant
leg and the other group used their nondominant leg.
As expected, the nondominant leg group performed
better across all tasks when tested with the nondominant
leg after the training period. Most surprisingly, however,
the nondominant leg group also showed greater perfor-
mance improvements when tested on their dominant
leg (when compared to the dominant leg group). Thus,
nondominant leg training led to a general improvement
of skill performance on both sides of the body, even in
experienced soccer players. These results were at least
partially confirmed in another study by Teixeira et al.
(2003), who found a similar reduction of lateral asym-
metries in a soccer dribbling task after nondominant leg
practice (but no reduction in two other tasks, kicking for
force and kicking for accuracy).
Note that in the previous two studies, participants prac-
ticed either with their dominant or their nondominant
limb over a certain period of time before performance
was assessed on both sides in a posttest. What is unknown
from these studies is (a) whether nondominant limb
practice improves performance per se, or (b) if it matters
at what point in time the dominant or the nondominant
limb is being practiced. The earlier study supports rather
unspecific effects of nondominant limb practice on skill
acquisition, whereas the second is reminiscent of sequen-
tial effects on motor skill learning.
In recent studies, we looked at this question by add-
ing another period of opposite limb practice after initially
training the dominant or nondominant limb (Senff &
Weigelt, 2011; Stöckel et al., 2007; Stöckel & Weigelt,
2011). Stöckel et al. (2007) had two groups of adolescent
participants practice a basketball shooting task, involving
the dominant and nondominant hand in opposite train-
ing schedules over several sessions (with the amount of
practice on each side counterbalanced). The results of
this study demonstrated improved bilateral performance
(i.e., greater shooting accuracy with the dominant and the
nondominant hand) for the training group that started
to learn the basketball task with their nondominant hand
first. Similar results were obtained by Senff and Weigelt
(2011), who asked children to slide cent coins from a
starting position into a target on the opposite side of a
table. Again, two groups practiced this task in opposite
training schedules, using their dominant and nondomi-
nant hand equally often across the whole period of the
study. The children who practiced this task initially with
the nondominant hand performed better afterwards with
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190 RQES: June 2011
Stöckel, Weigelt, and Krug
both hands, displaying greater sliding accuracy on their
dominant and on their nondominant side. Hence, these
studies show sequential effects both for the acquisition of
a complex sport motor skill (Stöckel et al., 2007) and for
a simple perceptual-motor task (Senff & Weigelt, 2011).
The term “sequential effects” refers to the observation that
the order in which both hands are practiced influences
how well a particular skill will be learned.
The purpose of this study was to investigate sequential
effects on the acquisition of a complex dribbling task in
basketball. To this end, we recruited a group of young
children, because young learners are most often con-
fronted with the task of acquiring a novel sport skill (e.g.,
in physical education classes). The findings of the present
study should therefore have high practical relevance for
the organization and optimization of children’s training
schedules. Two groups of young children were asked to
dribble a basketball around a slalom course using either
their dominant or nondominant hand at different times
over a series of training sessions. Most importantly, both
practice schedules were designed to provide the same
amount of bilateral skill training (i.e., the amount of
time spent practicing with the dominant and the non-
dominant hand). We made one specific and two general
predictions. The two general predictions were (a) if the
order in which children practice their hands has no effect
on the acquisition of this dribbling task, then we should
observe no differences in performance between the two
groups; or (b) contrarily, if sequential effects manifest
themselves on the acquisition of the present task, then
we should observe performance differences. The more
specific prediction was that if the previously reported
sequential effects (Stöckel et al., 2007; Senff & Weigelt,
2011) extend to dribbling skills, which require the inte-
gration of visual-spatial information (e.g., while moving
through an obstacle course), then the children who start
to practice the task with their nondominant hand should
show greater performance improvements.
Fifty-two school children (17 girls and 35 boys) from
the sixth and seventh grades (ranging in age from 11 to
13 years, M age = 11.7 years, SD = 1.0) of a grammar school
participated in this study. All of them were right-handed.
The handedness of all children was assessed with the Ed-
inburgh Handedness Inventory (Oldfield, 1971) before
the study, and none of the children had prior experience
with the task or played on a basketball team outside of
the school. Before the experiment, all of the children’s
parents gave their informed consent for their child’s par-
ticipation in the study. The study took place during regular
physical education classes. The local school authorities
and the institutional review board approved the research.
The present task was a modified version of a task pre-
viously used by Teixeira et al. (2003). While these authors
tested the speed of dribbling for a slalom-dribbling task
(SDT) in soccer, we investigated dribbling in basketball.
The SDT required participants to dribble around an
obstacle course of six javelins, arranged in a straight
line and spaced apart by 1.5 m (see Figure 1). The total
distance from the start/ finish line to the last javelin was
9 m. Each trial started with the participant crossing the
starting line. He or she then dribbled around each javelin,
circled the last javelin, and returned as fast as possible to
the finish line (bypassing the javelins on the way back).
Participants started whenever they felt ready. They had
to circle the javelins by using the right hand only, the left
hand only, or alternating between the two hands. The
time it took participants from start to finish was meas-
ured with a stopwatch, which automatically started and
stopped when a light barrier was crossed, approximately
at shin height (longines TL2000 measurement device;
Longines, St. Imler, Switzerland). To this end, the photo-
electric sensor and the reflector of the longines TL2000
measurement device were arranged at a height of 30 cm,
so that the light barrier covered the start/finish line (see
Figure 1, SDT). The basketball used was of official size,
approximately 75 cm in circumference and with a weight
of approximately 600 g.
The need to keep good control over the ball under
time pressure renders the SDT a complex task, requiring
a great deal of visual-spatial coordination while dribbling
through the obstacle course. The specific demands of
the SDT therefore require the integration of visual-spatial
information and the coordination of movements under
time pressure.
Design and Procedure
The 52 participants were equally distributed to one
of two groups after a pretest. The two groups then prac-
ticed the SDT under one of the following two treatment
conditions: (a) participants dribbled with their dominant
hand for the first four of the eight practice sessions and
then switched to their nondominant hand for the second
four (D-ND group); or (b) participants dribbled with their
nondominant hand for the first four of the eight practice
sessions and then switched to their dominant hand for
the second four (ND-D group). This fully crossed order-
of-practice design ensured that all participants learned
the skill for the same amount of time with their dominant
and nondominant hand. The only difference between
the groups was the point in time at which the dominant
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RQES: June 2011 191
Stöckel, Weigelt, and Krug
or nondominant hand was practiced. After the comple-
tion of all practice sessions, any difference observed in
the dependent variable (i.e., dribbling speed) must be
attributed to the difference in practice order.
This study lasted 6 weeks and included a pretest,
eight practice sessions, a posttest, a retention test, and a
transfer test. Both the retention test and the transfer test
were conducted after one week without practice. All test-
ing and training sessions were arranged during regular
physical education lessons in a school gymnasium. These
lessons included basic exercises of ball handling and a
number of different drills with the aim to (methodologi-
cally) improve participant’s dribbling abilities.
In the pretest, participants were tested separately with
their left and right hand (order counterbalanced across
participants). Each hand was tested only once, unless
participants made a mistake while performing the task,
such as dribbling on the base of the javelin or leaving one
out. Such error trials were repeated after the participant
had recovered. The participant’s performance was as-
sessed on an individual basis. Before the first participant
was tested, the experimenter demonstrated the dribbling
skill with the left and right hand, and the participants
had one practice trial with each hand to become familiar
with the task procedure. Based on their pretest results, all
participants were assigned to one of the two experimental
groups, balancing the initial performance level between
both groups. That is, the total times to finish the SDT
in the pretest were transformed to a rank order from
low to high values (averaged over both hands) and all
participants on an odd rank were assigned to the D-ND
group and participants on an even rank were assigned to
the ND-D group.
In the learning phase (practice sessions), participants
practiced basketball in their respective group under one
of the two order-of-practice schedules. A total of eight
practice sessions were administered over a period of 4
weeks. Each session lasted for 45 min. The two groups
practiced separately and according to their assignment
(D-ND vs. ND-D). The children used either only their
dominant or their nondominant hand for all the skills
performed during these sessions. Each session followed
a methodological procedure commonly used by practitio-
ners to teach children’s basketball (e.g., Mondoni, 2000;
Vancil, 1996). The content of practice (i.e., the drills per-
formed) included different warm-up exercises, dribbling
in various ways, a number of ball-handling skills other
than dribbling, and different forms of game-play (using
the part-whole-method). A complete list of the exercises
used during the different practice sessions is provided in
the Appendix. Most importantly, the content of practice
and the amount of training in each session, as well as the
number of repetitions for each exercise, were identical for
both groups. However, they never practiced the standard-
ized SDT used as a test in this study, and no additional
data were collected during the learning phase. Instead,
we used the standardized test (i.e., SDT) to investigate
the effects of hand-order during an otherwise regular
basketball training schedule.
During the intervention, each drill and exercise had
to be performed with the one hand for the first four
sessions and with the other hand for the remaining four
sessions, depending on the participant’s group affiliation.
While the D-ND group first practiced with their dominant
hand and changed to the nondominant hand, the ND-D
group practiced in opposite hand order. The same drills
of Sessions 1–4 were used again in Sessions 5–8 for the
contralateral hand.
The posttest followed immediately after the learning
phase was completed. Again, each participant was tested
on an individual basis, performing the SDT with his or
her left and right hand. The procedure of the posttest
was similar to the one of the pretest. The retention test
followed after 1 week without practice, and involved the
left and right hand in the SDT. Testing for retention was
done to look at more permanent changes in performance
(i.e., learning; Schmidt & Lee, 2005). Furthermore, we
were interested whether participants were able to use the
newly learned skill under game-like situations (i.e., drib-
bling with both hands). Therefore, the transfer test re-
quired participants to perform the SDT using the left and
right hand in an alternating fashion. More specifically,
the participants were instructed to dribble around each
javelin while using the outer hand. This required them
150 c m between each javelin
Figure 1. Depiction of the experimental set-up of the Slalom-Dribble-Test, which required participants to dribble as fast as pos-
sible in a slalom-like movement to the last javelin and return to the initial position.
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192 RQES: June 2011
Stöckel, Weigelt, and Krug
to change hands and to perform a cross-over dribbling
move after each javelin. This modifi cation was included to
simulate a game situation, where it is important to shield
the ball from a defender by bringing one’s body between
the ball and the defender and dribbling the ball with the
“outer” hand (i.e., the hand away from the defender).
Dependent Variables and Data Analysis
The total time (in seconds) that participants needed
to fi nish the slalom obstacle course was measured by the
experimenter and collected for each hand separately for
the pretest, the posttest, and the retention test. This data
was then submitted to a 2 (group: D-ND vs. ND-D) x 2
(hand: dominant vs. nondominant) x 3 (test: pretest vs.
posttest vs. retention test) analysis of variance (ANOVA),
with repeated measures on the last two factors. The fac-
tor group was tested between participants. The three-way
ANOVA was performed to analyze trials only conducted
with one hand (primary SDT conditions in the pretest,
posttest, and retention test). To analyze participants’
performance in the transfer task (i.e., dribbling while
alternating between hands), a separate one-way ANOVA
was calculated on the transfer test data.
One-Hand Dribbling (Primary SDT Conditions)
The total times needed to fi nish the obstacle course
with the dominant, right hand for the D-ND group were
9.38 s (pretest), 8.73 s (posttest), and 8.54 s (retention
test), and for the ND-D group were 9.28 s (pretest); 8.15
s (posttest), and 7.88 s (retention test). The total times
with the nondominant, left hand for the D-ND group
were 9.97 s (pretest), 9.08 s (posttest), and 9.28 s (reten-
tion test), and for the ND-D group were 9.94 s (pretest);
8.72 s (posttest); and 8.30 s (retention test). Figure 2
illustrates the greater rate of improvement (i.e., faster
dribbling times) experienced by the ND-D group for the
averaged total times, collapsed across the two hands across
the series of tests.
The analysis of the one-hand dribbling conditions
yielded a signifi cant main effect for test, F(2, 100) = 31.61,
p < .001, η
= .38, indicating an improvement of the drib-
bling skill for all participants over the course of the study.
The averaged dribbling times to fi nish the obstacle course
were 9.64 s (pretest), 8.67 s (posttest), and 8.50 s (reten-
tion test). Simple contrasts revealed the difference of 0.97
s between pre- and posttest and the difference of 1.15 s
between pretest and retention to be signifi cant (both p <
.001). The main effect for hand, F(1, 50) = 44.91, p < .001,
= .46, was also signifi cant, showing that the participants
dribbled faster with their dominant, right hand (8.66 s)
than with their nondominant, left hand (9.22 s). Most
importantly, the Group x Test interaction proved to be sig-
nifi cant, F(2, 100) = 3.86, p < .05, η
= .07. Simple contrasts
were performed to reveal differences at the posttest and
retention test level. The performance differences between
the two groups in the posttest were not signifi cant. The
difference of 0.82 s between the D-ND and ND-D group
in the retention test, however, proved to be statistically
signifi cant (p < .05), indicating shorter dribbling times for
the ND-D group. The average dribbling times of the D-ND
group improved from pre- to posttest by 0.77 s, and from
pretest to retention test by 0.77 s. The improvement for
the ND-D group was 1.18 s from pre- to posttest and 1.53
s from pretest to retention test. These performance dif-
ferences between the two groups were obtained similarly
Figure 2. Depicted are the average total times, collapsed across the two hands for the Slalom-Dribble-Test at pre-, post- and
retention tests for the dominant-to-nondominant group (D-ND, solid circles) and the nondominant-to-dominant group (ND-D,
open circles).
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Stöckel, Weigelt, and Krug
for the nondominant and the dominant hand, which can
be inferred from the absence of an interaction effect of
the hand factor with any other factor.
Dribbling With Both Hands Alternating (Transfer
SDT Conditions)
The total times that participants needed to finish the
obstacle course while alternating between the dominant,
right and nondominant, left hand were 7.77 s for the
D-ND group and 7.09 s for the ND-D group. A one-way
ANOVA (with 25 participants in each group, because 2
missed the transfer test) was calculated, and the difference
between the dribbling times for the two groups proved
to be significant, F(1,48) = 3.42, p < .05, η
= .07. This
shows that participants in the ND-D group transferred the
previously learned dribbling skill better to the game-like
situation simulated in the transfer test.
This study provides evidence for sequential effects
on the acquisition of a basketball dribbling skill with high
demand on the integration of visual-spatial information, as
well as on the speed of movement (Teixeira et al., 2003).
Performing this task with high speed requires a person
to efficiently orchestrate the innervations of the whole
neuromuscular system for the control of different body
parts, and thus the coordination of many degrees of free-
dom (Bernstein, 1967). To coordinate one’s movement
in space requires the alignment of the body to external
objects and events. For the former, performance is based
on a motor sequence mechanism, while for the latter,
performance is based on a spatial sequence mechanism.
Hikosaka and colleagues (Hikosaka et al., 1999; Hiko-
saka, Nakamura, Sakai, & Nakahara, 2002) put forward a
model of motor skill acquisition that proposes that motor
learning is faster when performance relies on a spatial
sequence mechanism than when it is based on a motor
sequence mechanism. With regard to the present study,
circumnavigating the javelins, and, thus, coordinating
one’s own movements relative to external objects (spatial
sequence mechanism) may be learned faster than moving
at high speed (motor sequence mechanism), given the
task constraints at hand (i.e., dribbling). Here, the early in-
volvement of the right-brain-hemisphere–left-hand system
benefits the task-specific learning of a spatial sequence
mechanism, which is reflected by greater performance
improvements of the ND-D group. This view is further
discussed in the following paragraph, in which we attempt
to answer the question of how the observed effects relative
to the particular hand-order can be explained.
One possible answer to the question raised above
relates to the notion that the optimal initial practice side
depends on the inherent motor components of the task
(see Carson, 1989; Sainburg, 2002; Teixeira, 2000). This
notion receives support from recent findings in the field of
neuroscience, providing evidence for task-specific differ-
ences in hemispheric activation for the control of different
task demands (see Birbaumer, 2007; Serrien et al., 2006,
for an overview). Here, the following picture in terms
of hemispheric specialization and task control emerges:
While the left brain hemisphere is primarily responsible
for the temporal and sequential control of movements
(i.e., the control of movement trajectories) and the
regulation of dynamic aspects (i.e., fine-force control),
the spatial orientation and coordination of actions (i.e.,
the control of final positions and targeted precision) are
processed in the right brain hemisphere (see Sainburg,
2002, dynamic dominance hypothesis; or Serrien et al.,
2006, for an overview). With regard to a more general
model of hemispheric specialization (e.g., Gazzaniga et
al., 1998), it is assumed that the most efficient processing
of visual-spatial information in the right brain hemisphere
will benefit a specialized hemisphere-effector system in
favor of the left hand in tasks with high spatial-accuracy
demands. The dribbling task in our study required a great
deal of visual-spatial processing when circumnavigating
the javelins. Therefore, we propose that initial practice
with the left hand will result in better acquisition of the
skill, because the specialized right-brain–left-hand system
is more efficient in processing visual-spatial information.
As a consequence, this may lead to a better transfer of
information to the contralateral hemisphere and the
untrained hand, compared to training with the nonspe-
cialized and less efficient hemisphere-effector system.
The present results can be explained not only by
positive interlimb transfer effects after practicing with the
specialized hemisphere-effector system, but by proactive
and retroactive interference effects. Such interference
effects are well known phenomena in motor learning,
and they frequently occur during the acquisition of two
similar tasks (e.g., Goedert & Willingham, 2002; Krakauer,
Ghilardi, & Ghez, 1999; Panzer, Wilde, & Shea, 2006).
Interference can be proactive when the consolidation
processes of the first task interfere with the acquisition
of a second task (the second task suffers), or they can
be retroactive when the consolidation of the first task is
disturbed by the acquisition of the second task (the first
task suffers; cf. Zach et al., 2005). Hence, while positive
interlimb transfer effects may have been responsible for
better skill learning with the dominant hand after practic-
ing the task with the nondominant hand (and thus with
the specialized hemisphere-effector system), proactive
interference effects could have hindered the acquisition
with the nondominant hand after the skill had been
trained first with the dominant hand (and thus with the
nonspecialized hemisphere-effector system). At the same
time, retroactive interference effects may have disrupted
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Stöckel, Weigelt, and Krug
the consolidation processes of the skill acquired previously
with the dominant hand. As a result, the participants of the
ND-D group benefited from the particular hand order in
which they practiced the dribbling skill, whereas the D-ND
group suffered from the opposite schedule.
From a practitioner’s point of view, the present find-
ings provide further insight about how to schedule the
training process during the acquisition of new motor
skills. Movement techniques demanding high spatial ac-
curacy and coordination (such as high-precision throwing
skills) should be taught differently during the acquisition
phase, as compared to tasks with a high demand on force
production and control (such as forceful throwing skills).
Moreover, coaches and trainers working with young ath-
letes should pay attention to the specific task demands
inherent in certain motor skills. The early training process
should focus on the issue of task specificity. The question
of what should be achieved through skill acquisition by
the athletes on a long-term basis is of main importance,
because a flexible availability of specific skills with both
limbs may be the ultimate goal of skill practice (like in
game sports). Therefore, coaches and trainers working
with young athletes should take a critical look at their
training schedules with the intention of creating more
effective practice by taking the initial hand-order in skill
acquisition into account.
In summary, the present study provides further evi-
dence for task-specific effects of hand-order during the
acquisition of complex (sport) motor skills. Most impor-
tantly, the order of practice of the dominant and non-
dominant limbs in the initial training schedule seems to be
important to improve performance of both limbs and to
strengthen the bilateral competence of the learners. This
was shown in the present study for adolescent children,
who are an especially interesting group of learners, since
basic sport skills are taught at young ages. However, the
present results are restricted to right-handed participants.
Future studies should therefore be conducted to examine
whether such sequential effects generalize to left-handed
participants. So far, left-handers have often been neglected
in motor learning research, although they seem to be
overrepresented at high levels for a number of sports
(e.g., Harris, 2010).
In light of former studies reporting opposite effects
of nondominant and dominant hand (or foot) practice
on the acquisition of simple and complex motor tasks, the
present study provides further information about how to
schedule initial skill learning and to organize the train-
ing processes. The present findings should therefore be
of particular interest to coaches and physical therapists,
who have to schedule practice sessions either for learn-
ing novel skills or for relearning a skill after injury, which
may be further accompanied by lateral deficits (e.g., in
stroke patients).
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1. Here we refer to “bilateral” to indicate practice on
both sides of the body, similarly using either the dominant
or nondominant hand (or foot). This is different from the
term bimanual, which has been used in motor control
research to indicate the simultaneous coordination of
both hands.
2. Also, 9 left-handed children participated in the pre-
sent study. For pedagogical reasons, we did not want to
exclude these children from participating in the activity
simply because they were left-handed. Their sample, how-
ever, was much too small to derive any valid conclusions
from their results. Consequently, we decided to omit data
for the left-handed children and examine only the right-
handed children’s performance.
Authors’ Note
This study was supported by the German Federal Institute
of Sport Science (VF 070606/08). We appreciate the valu-
able suggestions by Mark Fischman, Polemnia Amazeen,
and two anonymous reviewers on a previous version of the
manuscript. Please address correspondence concerning
this article to Tino Stöckel, Bielefeld University, Faculty
of Psychology and Sport Science, Neurocognition and
Action Research Group, PO 100131, 33501 Bielefeld,
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Overview of topics and content for the various practice sessions (1–8) on acquiring the basketball dribbling skill. Participants
performed all exercises for Sessions 1–4 using one hand only (dominant or nondominant) and repeated Sessions 5–8 with
the other hand. Listed are the specific exercises for each session, focusing on ball handling and dribbling basics on the spot
(Sessions 1 and 5), on dribbling basics in slow motion (Sessions 2 and 6), dribbling basics in fast motion and with obstacles
(Sessions 3 and 7), and advanced dribbling under competitive conditions (Sessions 4 and 8).
Session Topic Exercises Repetitions and
and content task criteria
1 and 5
Circle training with five exercises:
Figure eight (roll dribbling)
Wall drill (1 m)
Tap drill (with partner)
Finger flip (various heights)
Hand-off drill (with partner)
The circle had to be completed three times
30 s per exercise
No rest after completing all exercises
basics on
the spot
All children dribble the ball in a circle around the coach:
Basic technique of dribbling (i.e., hand and feet position, head up)
Simple dribbling (technique)
High-low dribble
Left-right dribble in front of the body
Back and forth beside the body
Combined while sitting (imitate the coach)
“One-bounce” dribbling (synchronized)
Explanations and demonstrations in Part A
lasted for 5 min
Each part lasted 3 x 30 s
Corrections and further explanations were
provided concurrently
Effective dribbling time: 16 min 30 s in continuous dribbling
2 and 6
basics in
slow motion
Full-court (25 m) dribbling in slow motion:
Basics of dribbling in motion (i.e., leg, hand, and ball position in
low dribble)
Dribble rhythm (normal) walking dribble
Onside dribble
Change dribble rhythm at each line
Sideward dribbling
Backwards dribbling
Change-of-direction (each line)
Forth and back drill
Change-of-pace (whistle)
Head up (imitate the coach, all drills combined)
All children start dribbling at the baseline
Explanations and demonstrations in Part A
lasted for 5 min
Each exercise was practiced by dribbling
twice from baseline to baseline and back in
slow motion
The last Part K had to be completed five
Corrections and explanations after each line
Total amount of dribbling: Each participant dribbled 46 lanes (25 m) in slow motion.
3 and 7
basics in
fast motion
(and with
Full-court dribbling in fast motion:
Basics of dribbling in fast motion (i.e., dribble rhythm; leg, hand
and ball position in high dribble)
High dribble
Stop and go (stop at each line)
Pull-back drill
Sideward dribbling
Stop and go with a partner tight behind each other
Fast dibbling with circumventing three cones on one lane
Like (g) plus dribbling across a bench in the middle of the lane
Like (h) plus turning around a ball with the free hand on this ball
(each baseline)
Like (g) but backward
All children start dribbling at the baseline
(two lines)
Explanations and demonstrations in Part A
lasted for 5 min
Each drill was practiced by dribbling 3 times
from baseline to baseline and back in fast
Corrections and explanations after each line
Never stop the dribbling
Never change the hands
Total amount of dribbling: Each participant dribbled 54 lanes (25 m) in fast motion.
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Stöckel, Weigelt, and Krug
tive condi-
Dribbling competition:
Speed dribble (touching the baseline with the baton)
Like (a) with a handball
Like (a) with a rubber foam ball
Like (a) with a tennis ball
Like (a) with a table tennis ball
Like (a) plus circumventing three cones on each lane
Like (f) plus jumping over two obstacles on each lane
Like (g) plus dribbling while balancing across a reversed bench in the
middle of the lane
Like (h) plus circumventing a medicine ball two times while touching it with
the baton
Like (a) but backward
Like (d) but backward
Like (f) but backward
Like (i) plus touching each baseline with the bottom
Suicide dribble
Competition among three groups
(starting at baseline) in a full-court
dribbling parcourse
Baton and basketball had to be
passed to the next person in the
Each parcourse had to be completed
Never stop the dribbling
Never change the hands
Total amount of dribbling: Each participant dribbled 48 lanes (25 m) in fast motion around the various obstacles.
Appendix. (cont.)
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... Empirical studies have shown that bilateral coordinated movements contributed to improved manipulative skill competency [19][20][21]. Coordinated bilateral activities refer to the use of both the hands or the feet, and other parts of the body, to perform movements that cross the midline of the body [22,23]. Manual midline crossing movements involve crossing the midline of the body and manipulating objects in the opposite space so that both hands are used [24,25]. ...
... Similarly, when a soccer player breaks through a defender, he or she must be able to dribble with both dominant and non-dominant feet. In addition, the previous studies found that bilateral coordinated movement practices were beneficial for children to improve dribbling and kicking skills in soccer performance [19], dribbling and shooting skills in basketball [20,21], and throwing skills [25]. Some studies have focused on examining the effects of the bilateral coordinated movement (BCM) on improving children's manipulative skill competency. ...
... Consistent with the results in the present study, previous studies have shown that bilateral coordinated practice improves manipulative skills in children and adolescents [19][20][21]. For example, Teixeira et al. [19] found that 24 Brazilian adolescents aged 12-14 years old, participating in five, two-hour bilateral practice lessons per week over the course of four months, helped to reduce the lateral asymmetries of performance assessed on three soccer skills: kicking for force, kicking for accuracy, and the speed of dribbling. ...
Full-text available
Background: Researchers have found that manipulative skill competency in childhood not only helps to improve physical activity participation but also helps adolescents learn specialized sports skills. This study aimed to examine the effects of an eight-week bilateral coordinated movement (BCM) intervention on manipulative skill competency in school-aged children. Methods: The participants were 314 fourth-grade students from two elementary schools in China. This study used a two-arm quasi-experimental research design. For one elementary school, two fourth-grade classes were assigned to the BCM group and another two fourth-grade classes were assigned to the control group. For the other elementary school, one fourth-grade class was assigned to the BCM group and another fourth-grade class to the control group. The students in the BCM group received an eight-week, two 40 min BCM lessons in soccer, and another eight-week, two 40-min BCM lessons in basketball. The control group received an eight-week two regular 40 min PE lessons in soccer and basketball, respectively. The students' manipulative skill competency in soccer and basketball skills were pre- and post-tested using the two PE metric assessment rubrics. Data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics, independent sample t-tests, and ANCOVA and ANOVA repeated measures. Results: The results showed a significant main effect of time (pre-test vs. post-test) in soccer skills (F = 273.095, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.468) and in basketball skills (F = 74.619, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.193). Additionally, the results revealed a significant main effect of the group (BCM group vs. control group) in soccer skills (F = 37.532, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.108) and a marginal significant main effect of the groups in basketball skills (F = 3.619, p = 0.058, η2 = 0.011). Furthermore, there was a significant interaction effect between the time and the group in soccer skills (F = 37.532, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.108) and in basketball skills (F = 18.380, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.056). Conclusions: It was concluded that after participation in the eight-week, 16 40 min lessons of BCM, the fourth-grade students showed greater improvement in soccer and basketball dribbling, passing and receiving skills, compared to the control group.
... For example, Haaland and Hoff (2003) demonstrated in a group of experienced adult soccer players that practicing soccer tasks such as dribbling, passing, and kicking with one leg, significantly improved performance in both legs, including the untrained leg. Similar interlimb transfer was reported in children for throwing and dribbling in basketball (Stöckel et al., 2011;Stöckel and Weigelt, 2012). Surprisingly perhaps, the interlimb transfer did not only take place from the dominant to the non-dominant limb, but also from the nondominant to the dominant limb; in fact, the latter effect was found to be stronger. ...
... We test this hypothesis in a complex sport task analogous to those that having been used to study cross education in basketball, soccer and the long jump (see Stöckel et al., 2011;Stöckel and Weigelt, 2012;Focke et al., 2016), but with a more apparent coordination between the limbs. Consequently, we used field hockey, in which players use both hands to handle the stick. ...
... Following Stöckel et al. (2011), a cross-over design was used to examine practice effects of the regular and modified (or mirrored) stick in group of high skilled youth players. The technical field hockey skills with the regular stick were tested immediately before and after the first and second practice period, and a week after the second practice periods. ...
Full-text available
Cross-education is the phenomenon in which repeated practice of a unilateral motor task does not only result in performance improvement of the trained limb, but also in the untrained contralateral limb. The aim of this study was to test whether cross-education or positive transfer of learning is also achieved for tasks in which both limbs contribute in different ways by using modified equipment that switches the limbs’ role. To this end, a reverse field hockey stick was used that requires a mirroring of arm and hand use and dominance (i.e., right hand on top of the hockey stick instead of the left hand). Two groups of young skilled female field hockey players participated in a crossover-design, in which participants received four training sessions with a reverse hockey stick followed by four training sessions with a regular hockey stick, or vice versa. In a pre-test, intermediate test (following the first intervention period), a post-test (after the second intervention period) and a retention test, participants’ performance on a field hockey skill test with a regular hockey stick was measured. The results revealed that training with the reversed hockey stick led to significantly increased improvements compared to training with a regular hockey stick. We conclude that modified equipment can be used to exploit positive transfer of learning by switching the limbs’ roles. The findings are discussed by referring to the symmetry preservation principle in dynamic systems theory and have clear practical relevance for field hockey trainers and players seeking to further improve field hockey skills.
... Changes in numbers that occur quickly every minute make this game interesting for people watching. Basketball according to [2] Games played by 2 teams, each consisting of five (5) players. With the goal of the two teams being to get a number by putting the ball in the opponent's basket and preventing the opponent from getting a number overseen by the Official (referee), the Official Table and a match supervisor. ...
... Basketball dribbling is one of the basic techniques that must be mastered by basketball athletes. In order for a basketball player to shield the ball from an opponent, he or she must be able to dribble equally well with the dominant and the non-dominant hand [5]. ...
... Em função do basquetebol ser um esporte que prima pela bilateralidade de suas ações, o desenvolvimento motor bilateral torna-se algo imprescindível (12) . A dominância lateral parece ser defi nida primariamente por características genéticas, embora considerem-se implicações culturais. ...
... Em um levantamento bibliográfi co muito interessante, Stockel et al. (12) sugerem que os lados direito e esquerdo do cérebro controlam os movimentos de forma diferenciada. De acordo com as evidências apresentadas, o sistema hemisfério esquerdo-mão direita controla mais adequadamente a dinâmica da trajetória ao longo do movimento, ao passo que o sistema hemisfério direito-mão esquerda tem características mais específi cas do controle da posição fi nal do movimento. ...
Muitas vezes, adotamos práticas que não são sustentadas pela ciência, apenas para fazer algo diferente. Deste modo, é bastante comum que a prescrição dos exercícios para o ensino dos esportes seja pautado quase que exclusivamente na experiência, criatividade e bom senso dos professores/treinadores. Sendo assim, este trabalho visa à atualização de profissionais que trabalham com o ensino dos esportes, em especial, o basquetebol, no tocante aos métodos de ensino e à seleção de exercícios e atividades para este fi m. Analisamos, sob a luz da literatura científica, os fatores determinantes para a escolha dos métodos adequados para o ensino do esporte para crianças e jovens e a fundamentação teórico-científica que venha a justificar a utilização dos exercícios. Após a seleção das palavras-chave relativas ao tema em discussão, ou seja, os aspectos relacionados ao processo ensino-aprendizagem e seus métodos de ensino, dominância lateral e lateralidade, e a estabilização do padrão de movimento, foram identificados os estudos que abordavam o assunto nas bases de dados Scielo e Pubmed, além de artigos e livros contemplados na base de dados Google Acadêmico. Existem diversos fatores inerentes ao processo de ensino-aprendizagem que tornam os alunos/atletas mais ou menos suscetíveis à assimilação da informação, à aquisição de novas habilidades motoras e ao aprimoramento (consolidação) do gesto esportivo já adquirido. A escolha de métodos e exercícios/atividades que o professor/treinador deve fazer precisa ser também calcada nas evidências científicas e não apenas em sua experiência pessoal ou dependente quase que exclusivamente do bom senso e criatividade vigentes.
... The total distance from the start/finish line to the last javelin was 9 m. (Stöckel et al., 2011;Teixeira et al., 2003); the first trial was performed by touching the ball with the foot and second trial with the hand. The test score was the running time, a longer time indicating a poorer performance. ...
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a 10-week active recess programme in school setting on physical fitness, school aptitudes, creativity and cognitive flexibility in children. A total of 114 children (age range = 8-12 years old, 47.3% girls) participated in this study. The students were randomly assigned to two groups, experimental group (EG) and control group (CG). The EG performed a programme of physical exercise at moderate to vigorous intensity with cognitive engagement for 10 weeks, three times a week. Physical fitness, school aptitudes, creativity, and cognitive flexibility were tested. Non-significant differences were found in physical fitness (both pre-test and post-test) between groups. The EG experienced significant improvements in all school aptitudes, creativity and cognitive flexibility (TMT test). In addition, the EG showed greater increase (p<0.05) than the CG in all variables of school aptitudes (p<0.01), creativity (p<0.001) and cognitive flexibility (p<0.05). Significant correlation between ∆ TMT-B and ∆ V . O2max (r=-0.289, p=0.031) was found. In conclusion, active recess based on high intensity training can be a proper tool to improve some cognitive skills, such as school aptitudes, creativity, and cognitive flexibility.
Purpose: This study aimed to analyze both sport-specific lateral preferences and handedness for everyday life tasks among school-aged children. Method: A total of 533 children (254 males and 279 females) aged 6 to 15 years old were assessed. Children's handedness was determined according to the laterality score from Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI), while lateral preferences were assessed for 16 different sport-specific tasks. Results: The percentage of children with a left hand preference was lower for unilateral (10.5-14.3%) than for bilateral (19.5-31.7%) tasks. An increased prevalence of left-sided preference was also obtained for foot tasks (13.3-26.8%) and rotation along the vertical axis (28.5%). Similarly, hand preference for unilateral sport-specific tasks and EHI scores were largely correlated (r = 0.551-0.630), while these correlations were lower for bilateral hand tasks (r = 0.148-0.418), foot tasks (r = 0.201-0.386) and rotation preference (r = 0.129). Moreover, left-handed children evidenced less lateralized behavior for sport-specific tasks than right-handed children. Conclusions: The current study has shown that sport-specific lateral preferences and their correlations with handedness vary considerably depending on the task and individual characteristics in developmental ages. These findings emphasize the relevance of task-specific assessments of lateral preferences when looking at sports skills during childhood.
Full-text available
Background: Considering the role of bilateral transfer in the learning of motor skills, especially at the time of injury, attention to the factors that will enhance bilateral transfer, is important. Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of feedback on bilateral transfer of force control task. Method: Thirty-six students were randomly assigned to three groups; feedback on successful trials, feedback on unsuccessful trials and self-control feedback groups. The feedback on successful trials group received KR for the two most effective trials in each block, the feedback on unsuccessful trials group, received KR for the two least effective trials in each block. And, self-control feedback group was provided with feedback whenever they requested only two trials. One day after the acquisition phase, participants performed a bilateral transfer test with another hand. Results: The results showed that all groups had significant progress, but there was no difference between groups in the acquisition phase (P≥0.05). The results of bilateral transfer showed that the group that received feedback on successful trials had the best performance (P=0.02) and There was no significant difference between the self-control feedback group and the feedback on unsuccessful trials group (P≥0.05). Conclusion: As feedback on successful trials is motivational and leads to increased self-efficiency and higher activation of certain areas in the brain, it is likely that the resulting motivation positively influenced axonal guidance and led to the accelerated transfer of the cognitive and motor components via Corpus Callosum and, in this way, improved learning in the untrained hand.
Full-text available
The complexity of educational practices and the issue of individual differences has created many challenges for motor skills educators. So the purpose of this study was to compare effectiveness linear and nonlinear pedagogy on manipulation motor skills performance of children. The population of this study included all girl children of 8 years old primary schools in Babolsar city that 55 children of them were selected using accessible sampling method and participated for 4 weeks, twice a week, in interventional program involving linear pedagogy (performing prescriptive and repetitive exercises) and nonlinear pedagogy (manipulation of task constraints including equipment and instructions) to performance improvement of manipulation motor skills. Data collection tools included quantitative or product-oriented tests adjusted of overarm throwing accuracy, Moore-christine shot test (modified for children) and basketball spiral dribble test. The data were analyzed using Mix-ANOVA analysis test. The results showed that there was a significant difference between the two nonlinear and linear pedagogy groups in throwing accuracy skills, spiral dribbling skill and kicking skill (P<0/001) and Children with nonlinear pedagogy had a higher level of performance in manipulation motor skills than those with linear pedagogy. As a result, it is recommended that teachers and educators help children to achieve better performance outcomes in a dynamic learning environment by applying a nonlinear pedagogy approach to teaching Fundamental motor skills to children.
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The study aim was to compare the effects of a 7-week plyometric, strength and change of direction (COD) training program on basketball-specific performance measures in high-school players. Forty male players were randomly assigned to one of the four groups: plyometric (PG, n = 10), strength (SG, n = 10), COD (CODG, n = 10), and control group training (CG, n = 10). Two training sessions were performed at weekly intervals before basketball training. Performance of the counter movement jump (CMJ), Abalakov jump (ABKJ), 10 m zigzag sprint, 20 m in line sprint (measurements at 10 and 20 m), and sit and reach flexibility test (SRFT) was assessed before and after the intervention. A 4 (group) × 2 (time) repeated measures analysis of variances (ANOVA) was conducted for each variable. Bonferroni post-hoc tests were used when the interaction was significant. Significant (all p < 0.05) time x group interaction was noted for SRFT, CMJ, ABK, sprint, and zigzag 10 m, in favor of the experimental groups compared to the control group. However, improvements in physical fitness were similar between the three experimental groups. In conclusion, 7 weeks of specific plyometric, strength and COD training produced similar medium to large improvements in physical fitness of high-school basketball players.
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Findings from neurosciences indicate that the two brain hemispheres are specialised for the processing of distinct movement features. How this knowledge can be useful in motor learning remains unclear. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the influence of initial practice with the dominant vs non-dominant hand on the acquisition of novel throwing skills. Within a transfer design two groups practised a novel motor task with the same amount of practice on each hand, but in opposite hand-order. In Experiment 1, participants acquired the position throw in basketball, which places high demands on throwing accuracy. Participants practising this task with their non-dominant hand first, before changing to the dominant hand, showed better skill acquisition than participants practising in opposite order. In Experiment 2 participants learned the overarm throw in team handball, which requires great throwing strength. Participants initially practising with their dominant hand benefited more from practice than participants beginning with their non-dominant hand. These results indicate that spatial accuracy tasks are learned better after initial practice with the non-dominant hand, whereas initial practice with the dominant hand is more efficient for maximum force production tasks. The effects are discussed in terms of brain lateralisation and bilateral practice schedules.
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The influence of bilateral practice on the modification of well-established lateral asymmetries of performance was investigated in overlearned motor skills related to soccer in 12- to 14-year-old adolescent players. The participants had extensive practice before entering the experiment and were trained 2 hours per day, five times per week, during a period of 4 months. In the training, the participants were assigned to one of two groups: practice with emphasis on the preferred leg (PL), or practice with emphasis on the nonpreferred leg (NpL). Lateral asymmetries of performance were assessed before and after training on three motor tasks: kicking for force, kicking for accuracy, and speed of dribbling. The analysis of the results indicated a consistent asymmetry of performance throughout the tests, favouring the preferred leg. The asymmetry of performance was maintained at a constant level across the tests for the kicking tasks in both experimental groups. For speed of dribbling, however, the index of lateral asymmetry was reduced from the pre- to the post-test in the NpL group only, which was due to a higher rate of improvement with the nonpreferred leg after the experimental training. These results are indicative of the role played by bilateral practice in modifying lateral asymmetries of performance established as a consequence of previous unilateral training.
Bilateral transfer in a fast tapping task was investigated under normal (+FB) and reduced (-FB) feedback conditions, in the -FB experiment 36 Ss were assigned to 3 groups: preferred (PH) to non-preferred (NPH) shift; NPH to PH; and alternating trials of PH and NPH. With + FB 2 further groups of 12 Ss transferred PH to NPH or NPH to PH. 8 preshift and 8 postshift trials were given. The alternating group had 8 PH and 8 NPH trials. In preshift performance increment was found in ail groups except in +FB with NPH. With +FB some facilitation in transfer was obtained for the NPH; under -FB marked positive transfer was found for the PH. Alternating PH and NPH performance conformed to preshift levels. Results were discussed in terms of differential central control processes for the two hands.
Zusammenfassung. Die vorliegende Arbeit untersuchte Reihenfolgeeffekte fur das Erlernen einer komplexen Basketballwurftechnik innerhalb eines Transferparadigmas. Dafur trainierten 16 Schulkinder (Durchnittsalter M = 12.1 Jahre) in 8 Ubungseinheiten uber 4 Wochen hinweg in einem von zwei Trainingsablaufen: (1) zuerst mit der rechten Hand und danach mit der linken Hand (Re-Li Gruppe), oder (2) zuerst mit der linken Hand und danach mit der rechten Hand (Li-Re Gruppe). Die primare Aufgabe bestand darin, einen Basketball in 30 Sekunden so oft und genau wie moglich in ein Zielfeld an der Wand zu werfen. Nach einem Pretest und der Trainingsphase, uberpruften wir den Lernzuwachs anhand der erzielten Trefferpunkte in einem Post- und Retentionstest, sowie in einem Aufgaben-Transfertest beim Werfen auf den Basketballkorb. Alle Tests wurden mit der rechten Hand, der linken Hand und beiden Handen im Wechsel durchgefuhrt. Die Ergebnisse konnten einen signifikant groseren Lernzuwachs fur die Li-Re Gruppe gegenuber der R...
The customary teaching methodology for dance classes is for the teacher to demonstrate the simple or complex motor pattern on the right side and for the students to practice and perform it on the right side. Then, without practice, the students perform the movement on the left side. The present study, using 40 undergraduates, tested the effects of practice on the bilateral transfer of complex movement patterns by having Ss learning 2 complex dance movement sequences in 8 treatment conditions (a 2–3 factorial design using naive and experienced ability, side preference, and transfer of 1-trial learning vs practice). ANOVA results yielded significant main effects for Transfer (practice) and Side Preference (nonpreferred to preferred side). Results suggest that dance teachers have been correct in expecting students to bilaterally transfer complex movements that they have learned. It is suggested that teachers should teach to the nonpreferred side (i.e., the left side) to maximize learning through bilateral transfer. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
There appears to be some controversy in the literature as to whether the transfer of learning is greatest from the non-preferred to the preferred side or to the reverse. The purpose of this present study was to examine manual asymmetrics using a discrete pursuit tracking task which measures the speed and accuracy of movement. Based on the conceptual framework of Schmidt's theory of generalized motor programs it was proposed that initial practice with the preferred hand would provide better quality feedback regarding response specifications and sensory consequences and thus transfer of learning should be greater from the preferred to the non-preferred hand. A total of 20 subjects participated in the study and they were randomly assigned to two treatment conditions: preferred to non-preferred and non-preferred to preferred. Each subject completed a total of 12 trials in which each trial consisted of 100 target presentations. Eight trials were performed with the first hand, and four trials with the second hand as designated by treatment group. The results indicated that there were no significant differences between the groups except for movements without overshoots. The findings appear to provide some support to the hypothesis that the preferred to non-preferred group developed a better model of the task as a result of the initial practice.
Two experiments are presented which investigated claims of asymmetrical transfer of training between the hands/hemispheres. In Experiment 1, 96 right- and left-handed male undergraduates practiced an inverted-reversed printing task with either the right or the left hand. Transfer to the opposite hand was then compared to same-hand transfer, in a between-subject design. In Experiment 2, 176 right-handed boys and girls were tested at ages 7, 9, and 11 years. For right-handed subjects in both experiments, the left hand benefited more from opposite-hand training than did the right. The reverse was true for left-handers in Experiment 1, although one group (who wrote with the “inverted” position) showed little transfer in either direction. Two current models of interhemispheric interaction do not satisfactorily explain these findings. A third model, based on cross-activation, may provide a more effective alternative.
This study was designed to investigate sequential effects after practice with the dominant and non-dominant hand on the acquisition of a new motor task. A total of 64 middle school children were asked to practise a cent-slide task, which required them to slide coins from one side of a cardboard into a circular target on the opposite side. Four groups practised this task within different practice schedules: (1) participants practised only with their dominant hand (right-only group); (2) participants used only their non-dominant hand (left-only group); (3) participants started to practise the skill with their dominant hand and then switched to their non-dominant hand (right-to-left group); or (4) participants started to practise the skill with their non-dominant hand and then switched to their dominant hand (left-to-right group). The acquisition of the task was facilitated after initial practice with the non-dominant hand. This was reflected in a better retention of the task and a stronger performance under a modified testing situation of the left-to-right group when compared to all other groups. Also, the left-only group showed larger interlimb transfer effects to the untrained hand than the right-only group. It is concluded that the sequence in which the dominant and non-dominant hands are used to practise influences the acquisition of new motor tasks.