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Individual Differences and Motor Abilities Oct 29th.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Human Biology
Luc Tremblay

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 international level! o Talent? Objectives - 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! Chapter plan - Correlation Methods (scatter plot and correlation) - Abilities - General motor ability - Skills Exercise - Identify tasks used during “selection trials” trials that successfully predict future performance. 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). Scattergrams - 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) Abilities - Definitions o “Hypothetical construct that underlies or supports performance in a number tasks”  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. Question Of the selection tasks you have identifi
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