HMB200H1 Lecture Notes - Divergent Thinking, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Scatter Plot
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Individual Differences and Motor Abilities
- What can you change about an individual’s performance?
- How do you select individuals to be on an elite team?
o How do you identify talent? Does talent exist?
- Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Jim Thorpe compete in multiple sports at an
- Understand the concept of individual differences
- Explain how a practitioner might use the concept of motor abilities to classify
skills and perform task analyzes
o Ethical concerns (ex. Gym in Montreal will assess child’s potential
based on body shape of parents)
- Discuss the difficulties inherent in predicting a person’s future performance
success based on assessments of that person’s abilities.
o Most important! Are we assessing abilities or skills?
o Aside from a few physical characteristics, practice can do a lot!
- Correlation Methods (scatter plot and correlation)
- General motor ability
- Identify tasks used during “selection trials” trials that successfully predict
o Ex. Vo2 Max (Endurance); sport specific tasks such as shooting at a
target; replicate game situation (add noise/distraction); reaction time
test (100m sprinters); jump height (basketball, volleyball, gymnastics,
etc.); flexibility/ROM tests (dance, gymnastics).
- A scatter gram showing the relationship between and age running speed. The
second graph shows age and running time.
- There seems to be a very strong relationship between running time/average
speed and age. HOWEVER, be careful when making extrapolations (= predict
the future). This graph only looks at ages 1-18. We can predict that there will
be a plateau after age 18 of running time and average speed.
- Goal of scattergram is to predict future performance!
- Want to have relationship coefficients when you assess performance.
o Ex. Y axis: Jump height; X axis: speed. If the correlation coefficient is
high, you can use height to predict speed and vice versa. (Correlation
coefficient of 0.50 is strong, but only explains 25% of variance
(square the correlation coefficient to get percentage of variance)
o “Hypothetical construct that underlies or supports performance in a
It is hypothetical! We can’t completely prove that abilities exist.
o “Relatively stable characteristic or trait”
o “Not easily modifiable by practice”
- ABILITY VERSUS A SKILL.
Of the selection tasks you have identified earlier, which ones are sensitive to a
- Jump height; Vo2 Max (hematocrit level) a lot of these tests have a genetic
- If it is easily modifiable by practice, then it is not ability! It is simply a skill.
- Length of bones is not modifiable by practice.
- Reaction time is more difficult to train compared to the ability to ignore noise
in the room, etc.
- Visual acuity! Not modifiable with practice.
General Motor Ability
- Hypothesis: If John, Molly, and Ryan perform better than Quinn, Casey, and
Charlie in hockey, they will also perform better in baseball and track.
o Possess overall general motor ability.
- Fleishman’s work (and Henry’s Specificity)
o High motivation in 1970s (when fighters jets were being tested) to
identify the best fighter pilot decrease cost.
o Only 1 publication emerged from these tests.
Maintain a ball on plate while manipulating levers, identifying
orientation of plane based on picture, weight discrimination
test… nothing directly associated with piloting an airplane!
Even when investing millions of dollars to identify talent not
Are we really capable of predicting future performance?
- Correlations among skills
o Test Battery (Parker & Fleishman 1960): Correlation between tasks
r<0.5 (except this was only done with 2m and 4m balance beam
They are both balance beam tasks! And yet we lose 50% of
variance. Can we really predict ability?
o Learning- Bachman (1961): Correlation between stabilometer and
Bachman ladder tests r<0.25
Stabilometer doesn’t correlate well with beam walking.
- Requires the use of many abilities
- Can be affected by practice/experience.
- Female gymnast able to perform highly complex skill despite injury
intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is not very modifiable by practice. It
seems to be an inherent psychological trait. Nonetheless, a specific
experience can modify motivation motivation is more of an ability than a
- Jeremy Lin height is not modifiable. Physical characteristic is an ability.
Chapter 6 Review
- Methodology: Correlation and prediction
- Abilities (stable)
- General Motor Ability (and IQ) Does not assess creativity (divergent
thinking). It is a convergent thinking question.
o Is there really a general motor ability? Does being good in one sport
make you good at another?
- Skills are modifiable by practice and experience.
Explain how a practitioner might use the concept of motor abilities to classify skills and perform task analyzes: ethical concerns (ex. Gym in montreal will assess child"s potential based on body shape of parents) Discuss the difficulties inherent in predicting a person"s future performance success based on assessments of that person"s abilities: most important! Are we assessing abilities or skills: aside from a few physical characteristics, practice can do a lot! Identify tasks used during selection trials trials that successfully predict future performance: ex. Vo2 max (endurance); sport specific tasks such as shooting at a target; replicate game situation (add noise/distraction); reaction time test (100m sprinters); jump height (basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, etc. A scatter gram showing the relationship between and age running speed. The second graph shows age and running time. There seems to be a very strong relationship between running time/average speed and age. However, be careful when making extrapolations (= predict the future).