Central European Journal of Sport Sciences and Medicine

ISSN: 2300-9705     eISSN: 2353-2807
CC BY-SA   Open Access 

Lista wydań / Vol. 7, No. 3/2014
Short communication: directing Cheerleader’s Gaze Influences Motor Behaviour in Somersaults

Rok wydania:2014
Liczba stron:6 (23-28)
Słowa kluczowe: complex skill visual perception whole-body rotation
Autorzy: Thomas Heinen
University of Hildesheim, Institute of Sport Science, Hildesheim, Germany

Hannah Vollmer
University of Hildesheim, Institute of Sport Science, Hildesheim, Germany


Eye, head, and body movements are thought to be functionally coupled in the performance of complex skills, such as somersaults with and without twists (Davlin et al. 2001; von Laßberg et al. 2014). Directing the gaze to specific locations in the environment during the takeoff phase in somersaults could influence takeoff kinematics and, as a consequence, the subsequent flight phase. The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between gaze direction during takeoff and the corresponding movement kinematics when performing backward somersaults in cheerleading. N = 11 cheerleaders performed standing backward somersaults in three experimental conditions (straight gaze direction, elevated gaze direction, depressed gaze direction). Results revealed that cheerleaders exhibited a larger hip angle during takeoff and longer flight duration of the somersaults when their gaze was elevated during the takeoff phase, thereby supporting the notion that a functional coupling seems to operate between gaze behaviour and motor behaviour in cheerleading. In daily practice, cheerleaders could try to focus their gaze on a point on the wall in front of them during the takeoff phase in somersaults in order to facilitate the development of a functional coupling between gaze behavior and motor behavior.
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