Special Issue "Motor Control and Learning in Childhood and Adolescence: Interactions with Sports and Exercise"

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Filipe Manuel Clemente
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Sport and Leisure, 4960-320 Melgaço, Portugal
Interests: football; soccer; match analysis; performance analysis; network analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The production and control of human movement is a progressive and complex process that is developed across the lifespan. New motor patterns can be learned using movement and considering the interactions with the environment. Through affordances, the human is challenged and interacts with the environment to solve problems and to improve decisions. Therefore, motor control and motor learning are two core topics that should be considered in children and young populations. Motor control is dedicated to analyzing the mastering of voluntary movement, while motor learning is more related to the process of acquiring a skill or producing a new motor task. Many types of research are produced annually on these topics. However, within the pandemic context, changes in the stimuli provided to children are the reason for concern for their development. Less free play or structured practice (e.g., sports, physical education) may have consequences for the learning and mastering of human movement. Not exclusively focusing on this situation, but opening a window to its discussion, this Special Issue “Motor Control and Learning in Childhood and Adolescence: Interactions with Sports and Exercise” aims to be a space for publishing innovative articles or systematic reviews dedicated to motor control and learning in the field of sports and exercise.

Considering that more research should be done and published about such important topics, the aim of the Special Issue “Motor Control and Learning in Childhood and Adolescence: Interactions with Sports and Exercise” is to publish high-quality original investigations as well as narrative and systematic reviews in the field of motor control and learning in sports and exercise. We look forward to receiving contributions related (but not limited) to the following topics: (I) experimental studies and interventions for teaching and improving skill acquisition in children; (II) observational analytic studies identifying the effects of specific conditions or covariables occurring in sports and exercise on motor control and learning; (III) systematic reviews and meta-analyses that may summarize the evidence about the effects of sport and exercise on motor control and learning.

Dr. Filipe Manuel Clemente
Dr. Ana Filipa Silva
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • motor control
  • motor learning
  • motor development
  • youth sports
  • exercise

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Learning Basketball Tactical Actions from Video Modeling and Static Pictures: When Gender Matters
Children 2021, 8(11), 1060; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8111060 - 17 Nov 2021
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Recent studies within the physical education domain have shown the superiority of dynamic visualizations over their static counterparts in learning different motor skills. However, the gender difference in learning from these two visual presentations has not yet been elucidated. Thus, this study aimed [...] Read more.
Recent studies within the physical education domain have shown the superiority of dynamic visualizations over their static counterparts in learning different motor skills. However, the gender difference in learning from these two visual presentations has not yet been elucidated. Thus, this study aimed to explore the gender difference in learning basketball tactical actions from video modeling and static pictures. Eighty secondary school students (Mage = 15.28, SD = 0.49) were quasi-randomly (i.e., matched for gender) assigned to a dynamic condition (20 males, 20 females) and a static condition (20 males, 20 females). Immediately after watching either a static or dynamic presentation of the playing system (learning phase), participants were asked to rate their mental effort invested in learning, perform a game performance test, and complete the card rotations test (test phase). The results indicated that spatial ability (evaluated via the card rotations test) was higher in males than in female students (p < 0.0005). Additionally, an interaction of gender and type of visualization were identified, supporting the ability-as-compensator hypothesis: female students benefited particularly from video modeling (p < 0.0005, ES = 3.12), while male students did not (p > 0.05, ES = 0.36). These findings suggested that a consideration of a learner’s gender is crucial to further boost learning of basketball tactical actions from dynamic and static visualizations. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Gender Differences in Attention Adaptation after an 8-Week FIFA 11+ for Kids Training Program in Elementary School Children
Children 2021, 8(9), 822; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8090822 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 417
Abstract
School-based exercise intervention is recognized as an optimal tool for enhancing attentional performance in healthy school children. However, gender differences in the training adaptation regarding attentional capacities have not been elucidated clearly in the current literature. This study aimed to investigate the effects [...] Read more.
School-based exercise intervention is recognized as an optimal tool for enhancing attentional performance in healthy school children. However, gender differences in the training adaptation regarding attentional capacities have not been elucidated clearly in the current literature. This study aimed to investigate the effects of an 8-week Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 11+ for Kids training program on attentional performance in schoolboys and girls. Based on a quasi-experimental design, fifty-two children registered in year five of elementary school were assigned into the following groups: training boys (n = 13), training girls (n = 13), control boys (n = 13), and control girls (n = 13). The training groups undertook an 8-week FIFA 11+ Kids intervention with a training frequency of five times per week, whereas the control groups were deprived of any exercise during the study period. All the participants maintained their regular physical activity and weekly physical education (PE) lessons (two 50-min lessons per week of school curriculum) during the training period. The Chinese version of the Attention Scale for Elementary School Children (ASESC) test was used for attentional assessment at the baseline and one week after the interventional period. The Kruskal–Wallis H test was used for between-group comparison, whereas the Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for within-group comparison. Significant differences in total scale, focused attention, selective attention, and alternating attention were found in group comparisons (p < 0.001). Furthermore, the training children significantly increased their values in relation to total scale, focused attention, sustained attention, and selective attention (p < 0.05). Only training girls significantly improved their divided attention after the training period (p < 0.001, MD = −0.77, ES = −0.12). In conclusion, the FIFA 11+ for Kids is an effective school-based exercise intervention for attentional improvement in school children. The schoolgirls demonstrated a positive outcome regarding divided attention after the interventional period. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Effects of Exercise Difficulty and Time-of-Day on the Perception of the Task and Soccer Performance in Child Soccer Players
Children 2021, 8(9), 793; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8090793 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 364
Abstract
In soccer, accurate kicking skills are important determinants of successful performance. A successful kick must meet several criteria, including speed, accuracy, and timing. In fact, players who are able to kick the ball more accurately under various difficulties, such as time pressure, space [...] Read more.
In soccer, accurate kicking skills are important determinants of successful performance. A successful kick must meet several criteria, including speed, accuracy, and timing. In fact, players who are able to kick the ball more accurately under various difficulties, such as time pressure, space constraints, the opponent’s pressure, and the distance between the kicking point and the goal, have a clear advantage during soccer games. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of exercise difficulty and time-of-day on perceived task difficulty and kicking performance. Accordingly, 32 boys (age: 11 ± 0.7 years; height: 1.45 ± 0.07 m; body-mass: 38.9 ± 7.8 kg) performed shooting accuracy tests under two difficulty levels (distance (long-distance (LD) vs. short-distance (SD)) and time pressure (Without-time-pressure (WTP) vs. With-time-pressure (TP)) at 08:00 h and 17:00 h. Absolute-error, variable-error, and constant-error were evaluated during the kicking tasks, in addition to ball velocity and shooting quality. Moreover, rating-of-perceived-exertion score (RPE), feeling-scale (FS), and perceived difficulty were completed immediately at the end of each test. The results showed that shooting quality was not affected by the time-of-day, but it was better in WTP vs. TP (p < 0.05), and in SD vs. LD (p < 0.05), respectively. Higher values for FS and lower values for RPE were observed in the morning compared to the afternoon (p < 0.05) and in WTP vs. TP (p < 0.05). In conclusion, specific soccer skills of boys were not time-of-day dependent, but they may be associated with time pressure and task difficulty. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Knee Pads Do Not Affect Physical Performance in Young Female Volleyball Players
Children 2021, 8(9), 748; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8090748 - 30 Aug 2021
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Knee pads have become increasingly popular among volleyball players. Given the fact high-intensity activities that are crucial to successfully playing this sport lead to an increased risk of a knee injury, the primary use of knee pads is to prevent potential injury. However, [...] Read more.
Knee pads have become increasingly popular among volleyball players. Given the fact high-intensity activities that are crucial to successfully playing this sport lead to an increased risk of a knee injury, the primary use of knee pads is to prevent potential injury. However, no research has been carried out to explain the effects of knee pads on the most important physical abilities in volleyball players, thus directly affecting performance. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of knee pads on the explosive power of the lower extremities, linear speed, and agility in young female volleyball players. In two separated sessions, 84 female volleyball players (age: 14.83 ± 0.72 years; height: 163.19 ± 8.38 cm; body mass: 53.64 ± 10.42 kg; VE: 5.30 ± 3.39 years) completed squat jumps (SJ), countermovement jumps (CMJ) with and without arm swing, linear sprints at 5-m and 10-m, modified t-test, and 5-10-5 shuttle test. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, paired sample T-tests and use of effect size (ES). There was no statistical difference between the two conditions for SJ (p = 0.156; ES = 0.18), CMJ (p = 0.817; ES = 0.03), CMJ with arm swing (p = 0.194; ES = 0.14), linear sprint at 5 m (p = 0.789; ES = 0.03) and 10 m (p = 0.907; ES = −0.01), modified t-test (p = 0.284; ES = 0.13), and 5-10-5 shuttle test (p = 0.144; ES = 0.19). Wearing knee pads has neither an inhibitory nor positive effects on explosive power of the lower extremities, linear speed, and agility in young female volleyball players. Full article
Article
Foundational Movement Skills and Play Behaviors during Recess among Preschool Children: A Compositional Analysis
Children 2021, 8(7), 543; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8070543 - 24 Jun 2021
Viewed by 810
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the associations between play behaviors during preschool recess and foundational movement skills (FMS) in typically developing preschool children. One hundred and thirty-three children (55% male; mean age 4.7 ± 0.5 years) from twelve preschools were video-assessed for six [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the associations between play behaviors during preschool recess and foundational movement skills (FMS) in typically developing preschool children. One hundred and thirty-three children (55% male; mean age 4.7 ± 0.5 years) from twelve preschools were video-assessed for six locomotor and six object-control FMS using the Champs Motor Skill Protocol. A modified System for Observing Children’s Activity and Relationships during Play assessed play behaviors during preschool recess. Associations between the composition of recess play behaviors with FMS were analyzed using compositional data analysis and linear regression. Results: Relative to time spent in other types of play behaviors, time spent in play without equipment was positively associated with total and locomotor skills, while time spent in locomotion activities was negatively associated with total and locomotor skills. No associations were found between activity level and group size play behavior compositions and FMS. The findings suggest that activity type play behaviors during recess are associated with FMS. While active games without equipment appear beneficial, preschool children may need a richer playground environment, including varied fixed and portable equipment, to augment the play-based development of FMS. Full article
Article
The Effect of Short-Term Wingate-Based High Intensity Interval Training on Anaerobic Power and Isokinetic Muscle Function in Adolescent Badminton Players
Children 2021, 8(6), 458; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8060458 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 878
Abstract
Badminton requires both aerobic fitness and anaerobic ability for high performance. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a traditional training method for improving fitness. In this study, we investigated whether short-term Wingate-based HIIT is effective for improving anaerobic activity in youth badminton players. [...] Read more.
Badminton requires both aerobic fitness and anaerobic ability for high performance. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a traditional training method for improving fitness. In this study, we investigated whether short-term Wingate-based HIIT is effective for improving anaerobic activity in youth badminton players. Participants included 32 total badminton players in middle school and high school. They were divided into two groups (HIIT and moderate continuous training (MCT)). Training occurred for 4 weeks in total, three times a week, for 30 min each session. A body composition test, isokinetic knee muscle function test (60°/s, 240°/s), Wingate anaerobic power test (30 s × 5 sets), and analysis of heart rate changes were undertaken before and after training. After 4 weeks, body fat decreased in the HIIT group (p = 0.019); they also showed superior anaerobic ability compared to the MCT group. Differences were statistically significant in 3–4 sets (three sets, p = 0.019; four sets, p = 0.021). Regarding fatigue, the HIIT group showed superior fatigue improvement after training and better fatigue recovery ability in 3~5 sets (three sets, p = 0.032; four sets, p = 0.017; five sets, p = 0.003) than the MCT group. Neither group exhibited changes in heart rate during the anaerobic power test after training. Both groups improved in terms of isokinetic knee muscle function at 60°/s with no differences. However, at 240°/s, the HIIT group showed a statistically significant improvement (p = 0.035). Therefore, HIIT for 4 weeks improved the athletes’ performance and physical strength. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Different Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Exercise Indexes and Mood States Based on Sport Types, Exercise Dependency and Individual Characteristics
Children 2021, 8(6), 438; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8060438 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 945
Abstract
Exercise indexes have been affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its related restrictions among athletes. In the present study, we investigated the exercise frequency and intensity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also current exercise dependency and mood state [...] Read more.
Exercise indexes have been affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its related restrictions among athletes. In the present study, we investigated the exercise frequency and intensity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also current exercise dependency and mood state among non-contact individual, contact individual, and team sports athletes. A total of 1353 athletes from non-contact individual sports athletes (NCISA), contact individual sports athletes (CISA) and team sport athletes (TSA) participated; 45.4% of them were females that completed a series of self-rating questionnaires covering sociodemographic information, former and current exercise patterns, exercise dependency and mood states. NCISA had less exercise frequency than CISA, both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and NCISA had less exercise frequency than TSA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding exercise intensity, CISA had higher scores than NCISA and TSA before the COVID-19 pandemic, and CISA had more exercise intensity than TSA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frequency and intensity were reduced from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic in the three groups, except for TSA intensity. In addition, positive and negative mood states were correlated with exercise dependency. CISA were more discouraged and vigorous than NCISA and TSA, respectively. For NCISA, CISA, and TSA, ordinal regressions separately showed that adherence to quarantine and exercise dependency were better predictors of exercise indexes. Finally, exercise dependency subscales were different among sports, but it was not in exercise dependency itself. Although the decrease in exercise indexes was noticeable, there was no consistent pattern of change in exercise behavior in all sports. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, negative moods were predominant among all athletes. The results discussed are based on exercise nonparticipating, sport type, and affect regulation hypothesis. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Somatotype, Accumulated Workload, and Fitness Parameters in Elite Youth Players: Associations with Playing Position
Children 2021, 8(5), 375; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8050375 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 702
Abstract
The purpose of this study was three-fold: (1) to describe anthropometric, maturation, and somatotype differences of players based on playing positions; (2) to analyze variations of accumulated load training (AcL) and fitness parameters between playing positions; and finally (3) to explain the variation [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was three-fold: (1) to describe anthropometric, maturation, and somatotype differences of players based on playing positions; (2) to analyze variations of accumulated load training (AcL) and fitness parameters between playing positions; and finally (3) to explain the variation of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and peak power (PP) through the AcL, body fat (BF), maturity, somatotype and fitness levels. Twenty-seven male youth soccer players under-16 were divided by the following positions participated in this study: six central midfielders, four wingers (WG), five forwards, eight defenders, and four goalkeepers (GK). They were evaluated on two occasions: pre-season and after-season. Height, sitting height, body mass, BF, girths, percentage of BF (BF%), lean body mass, maturity, somatotype, sprint test, change of direction test, Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1, Wingate, PP, VO2max and fatigue index were assessed. Then, AcL was monitored during training sessions. The main results revealed significant differences between player positions for maturity offset (p = 0.001), for BF (p = 0.006), BF% (p = 0.015), and lean body mass kg (p = 0.003). Also, there were significant differences for AcL and fatigue index in pre-season between player positions (p < 0.05). In addition, there were some significant differences in pre- and after-season for VO2max and PP between player positions (p < 0.05). In conclusion, GK showed higher values in anthropometric, body composition variables and maturity offset compared to the other positions, while WG presented lower levels of BF. In pre-season, there were more differences by player positions for the different variables analyzed than after-season that reinforces the tactical role of the positions, and the emphasis in increased load in the beginning of the season. This study could be used by coaches, staff, and researchers as a reference for athletes of the same sex, age, and competitive level. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop