Differences in the Motor Coordination Abilities Among Adolescent Gymnasts, Swimmers, and Ice Hockey Players

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Differences in the Motor Coordination Abilities Among Adolescent Gymnasts, Swimmers, and Ice Hockey Players

Purpose. Motor coordination is proposed to be a relatively stable age-related construct, unlikely to be influenced by aligned experiential factors such as intensive sport-specific training. The purpose of the study is to investigate if there are differences in motor coordination abilities among young artistic gymnasts, swimmers, and ice hockey players. Methods. The participants of the study were 508 female and 258 male adolescents (age, M = 12.80, SD = 1.10) comprising artistic gymnasts (n = 463), swimmers (n = 70), and ice hockey players (n = 233). The KTK-test protocol was used to analyse their gross motor coordination abilities. Results. The results of the study demonstrated that gymnasts scored better than ice hockey players and swimmers in the test of walking backwards along a beam, and better than ice hockey players in total motor coordination, hopping over an obstacle, and the test of moving sideways on wooden boards. However, ice hockey players scored higher than swimmers and gymnasts in the test of jumping from side to side. Subsequently, swimmers obtained better results in the test of moving sideways on wooden boards as compared with ice hockey players. Conclusions. The study results indicate that intensive sport-specific training may extend young athletes’ motor coordination characteristics in the ability areas representative of the sport in which they engage.

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ISSN
1899-1955