chapter  24
8 Pages

Tennis play simulator 1: Psychomotor predispositions for tennis based on locomotor movements

Our study in table tennis (Lapszo, 1998) showed a strong correlation between the speed of ball-hitting movements, anticipation and behavioural fluctuations tested in simulatory conditions with sporting results. On the basis of these findings we have developed a universal measurement system (Lapszo, 2002) which enables the testing of psychomotor efficiency in racket sports and ball games on the basis of fundamental and specific movement speed. In this study we present the application of the system to diagnose psychomotor efficiency in tennis. In a game of tennis we can differentiate between the locomotion used to hit the ball and locomotion after ball-hitting. These locomotor events have the character of fundamental movements for ballhitting. The movements are often called by coaches ‘foot work’. The speed of locomotor movements is related to ball-flight anticipation. This anticipation consists of predicting the position towards which the ball is flying and the execution of a movement to reach this position. In real play, anticipation is demonstrated by initiating the displacement of the body on the basis of how the opponent has hit the ball or from the early phase of the ball’s path. This information we have called anticipatory stimulus which indirectly indicates the place towards which the ball is flying. The middle and final phase of the ball’s path, directly indicating the spot, where the ball is flying was called an orientation stimulus. In our experiment the locomotor movements were initiated by anticipatory and orientation stimuli and were called anticipatory and orientation locomotor movements respectively. Ball-flight anticipation is based on anticipatory schema (Lapszo, 2000; Schmidt, 1975), which constitute the memorized relationships of the ways in which the ball was struck by the opponent and the places where the ball bounced on the tennis court. Creating the anticipatory schema in memory takes place in the learning process which influence behavioral fluctuations caused by variations in attention concentration, motivation, arousal and resistance for disturbances (Hull, 1942). These fluctuations determine the regularity in the learning process of anticipatory schema (Lapszo, 1998). The ability to react quickly and accurately in competitive conditions (play for points) seems also to

The aim of the research is to verify whether the developed universal diagnostic and training system (Lapszo, 2002) can be used to test the psychomotor predispositions specific to tennis on the basis of fundamental locomotor movements.