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The Effectiveness of External Cues on Learning Setting in Volleyball

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The present study investigated the hypotheses that beginners in volleyball can attain and retain higher levels of precision in setting if their training includes external cues, especially variable verbal cues. To this purpose 72 subjects were divided into the control, visual, auditory, and variable auditory groups, based on the results of the initial measurement and were trained accordingly for 12 one-hour sessions. The subjects were tested at the end of training and five days after that for the evaluation of the retention of learning. Each measurement included two batteries of eight settings at random targets, issued with visual and auditory cues. The parameter analyzed was the success ratio. The results indicated that performance improvement and retention of learning of the setting skill for beginners in volleyball is significantly enhanced if their training includes external cues. Practicing with variable auditory cues demonstrated the best results, thus providing validation for the variability-of-practice hypothesis. Practicing with visual cues seems to give better results in the case of setting at the target with which the subject has no visual contact. Apart from providing positive evidence for a number of crucial hypotheses in motor learning, the present results may also prove useful to volleyball coaches and players.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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