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Effect of timing training in golf and soccer players: skill, movement organization, and brain activity
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0839-3681
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background Although trainers and athletes consider ‘good timing skills’ to be critical for optimal sport performance, little is known in regard to how sport-specific skills may benefit from timing training. Thus, assuming that all motor performances are mediated by an internal timing mechanism, enhanced motor timing is expected to have positive effects on both planning and execution of movement performance, and consequently on complex sports actions as golf or soccer. Accordingly, in order to increase our knowledge of the importance of motor timing and possible effects of timing training, this thesis examines the effects of synchronized metronome training (SMT), thought to improve the execution of motor programs and to enhance motor skills in golf and soccer players.

Methods Study I examined the effects of SMT on motor timing abilities and its potential effect on golf shot accuracy and consistency in 25 experienced male golfers. Additionally, Study II examined the effects of SMT on the spatiotemporal movement organisation and dynamics of the golf swing performance, as captured by kinematic measurements and analyses in thirteen male golfers. Study III examined the effect of SMT on accuracy and variability in a soccer specific, cross-pass task in elite and sub-elite female soccer players. Moreover, the underlying brain activity was assessed by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the corresponding neural activity when passively observing the cross-pass task, and the possible pre- to post training effects.

Results SMT was shown to improve motor timing ability, by means of less timing asynchrony and with associated changes in timing variability, in both golf- and soccer-players. Additionally, significant improvements in golf shot and soccer cross-pass performance, by means of significant increase in outcome accuracy combined with a decrease in outcome variability was found. From the kinematic investigation in Study II, results indicate that improved motor timing, as an effect of SMT, lead to a more coordinated and dynamic swing performance, and with decreased variability in the temporal structure of the swing motion. Finally, it was found that SMT induces changes in the activity of the action observation network (AON), underpinning action observation and action prediction, by means of decreased activation within bilateral cerebellum, fusiform gyrus and superior temporal gyrus. These findings hint at a more efficient pattern of neural recruitment during action observation, after SMT.

Conclusion In summary, this thesis provides evidence that four weeks of SMT improved the participant’s motor timing and synchronization abilities, and showed influence on both behavioral and neurophysiological motor programs and skill performance in golf and soccer players. Thus, by improved outcome accuracy and decreased variability, affecting the coordinated movement pattern and organisation, as well as affecting the associated underlying brain activation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2014. , 85 p.
Keyword [en]
Motor timing, rhythmicity, timing training, golf shot, golf swing, kinematics, precision, variability, coordination, movement dynamics, soccer, fMRI, mirror neurons, action observation, cerebellum, perception - action.
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-86664ISBN: 978-91-7601-026-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-86664DiVA: diva2:700224
Public defence
2014-03-27, Beteendevetarhuset, 102, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports
Available from: 2014-03-06 Created: 2014-03-04 Last updated: 2015-01-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Improved motor-timing: effects of synchronized metronome training on golfshot accuracy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improved motor-timing: effects of synchronized metronome training on golfshot accuracy
2009 (English)In: Journal of Sports Sciences & Medicine. Free electronic journal, ISSN ISSN 1303-2968, Vol. 8, no 4, 648-656 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the effect of synchronized metronome training (SMT) on motor timing and how this training might affect golf shot accuracy. Twenty-six experienced male golfers participated (mean age 27 years; mean golf handicap 12.6) in this study. Pre- and post-test investigations of golf shots made by three different clubs were conducted by use of a golf simulator. The golfers were randomized into two groups: a SMT group and a Control group. After the pre-test, the golfers in the SMT group completed a 4-week SMT program designed to improve their motor timing, the golfers in the Control group were merely training their golf-swings during the same time period. No differences between the two groups were found from the pre-test outcomes, either for motor timing scores or for golf shot accuracy.

However, the post-test results after the 4-weeks SMT showed evident motor timing improvements. Additionally, significant improvements for golf shot accuracy were found for the SMT group and with less variability in their performance. No such improvements were found for the golfers in the Control group. As with previous studies that used a SMT program, this study’s results provide further evidence that motor timing can be improved by SMT and that such timing improvement also improves golf accuracy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ankara / Turkey: Asist Group, 2009
Keyword
Golf accuracy, motor timing, golf shot variability, metronome training.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30137 (URN)
Available from: 2009-12-08 Created: 2009-12-08 Last updated: 2014-03-05Bibliographically approved
2. Synchronized metronome training induces changes in the kinematic properties of the golf swing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Synchronized metronome training induces changes in the kinematic properties of the golf swing
2014 (English)In: Sports Biomechanics, ISSN 1476-3141, E-ISSN 1752-6116, Vol. 13, no 1, 1-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to evaluate possible effects of synchronized metronome training (SMT) on movement dynamics during golf swing performance, as captured by kinematic analysis. A one-group, between-test design was applied on thirteen male golfers (27.5 ± 4.6 years old, 12.7 ± 4.9 golf handicap) who completed twelve sessions of SMT over a four week period. Pre- and post-assessments of golf swings made with three different clubs (4-iron, 7-ironand pitching wedge) were performed using a three-dimensional motion capture system. Club peak velocity at three different swing phases andcross-correlation analysis of time-series signals were made on joint couplings(wrist-elbow-shoulder) of both arms, and between joints and the club, during the full golf swing. There were significantly higher cross-correlations between joint-couplings and concomitant changes of the associated phase-shift differences, as well as reduced phase-shift variability at post-test. No significant effect of SMT was found for the club peak velocities. We suggest that domain-general influences of SMT on the underlying brain-based motorcontrol strategies lead to a more coordinated movement pattern of the golf swing performance, which may explain previous observations of significantly improved golf shot accuracy and decreased variability after SMT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014
Keyword
Timing training, coordination, movement dynamics, joint couplings, cross-correlation analysis
National Category
Psychology Physiotherapy
Research subject
Psychology; Rehabilitation Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-85852 (URN)10.1080/14763141.2013.873817 (DOI)000334040600001 ()
Funder
Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports, 47/09, 179/07Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-02-11 Created: 2014-02-11 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Timing training in female soccer players: effects on motor skill and associated changes in functional brain activity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Timing training in female soccer players: effects on motor skill and associated changes in functional brain activity
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
soccer, timing training, accuracy, fMRI, action observation, cerebellum
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-86663 (URN)
Funder
Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports
Available from: 2014-03-04 Created: 2014-03-04 Last updated: 2015-01-21Bibliographically approved

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Sommer, Marius

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