Postural control during cascade ball juggling: Effects of expertise and base of support
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Cascade ball juggling is a complex perceptual motor skill which requires efficient postural stabilization. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of experience (expert and intermediate groups) and foot distance (wide and narrow stances) on body sway of jugglers during three ball cascade juggling. A total of 10 expert jugglers and 11 intermediate jugglers participated in this study. Participants stood barefoot on the force plate (some participants wore a gaze tracking system), with feet maintained in wide and narrow conditions and performed three 40-seconds trials of the threeball juggling task. Dependent variables were sway mean velocity, amplitude, mean frequency, number of ball cycles, fixation number, mean duration and its variability, and area of gaze displacement. Two-way analyses of variance with factors for group and condition were conducted. Experts’ body sway was characterized by lower velocity and smaller amplitude as compared to intermediate group. Interestingly, the more challenging (narrow) basis of support caused significant attenuation in body sway only for the intermediate group. These data suggest that expertise in cascade juggling was associated with refined postural control.
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