The objectives of this thesis were 1) To define the critical features in ‘skilled’ and ‘less skilled’ performance for an unconstrained overarm throw in normally developing children at 12-13 years of age and 2) To evaluate the effectiveness of skill descriptions recommended by the Western Australian Department of Education.
A three-dimensional kinematic analysis of the trunk, the throwing upper limbs, and the non-throwing upper limbs of 144 students 12 to 13 yrs was conducted. The highest quartile by virtue of ball release velocity (i.e. ‘skilled’) was compared with the lowest quartile (i.e. ‘less skilled’). Sixteen critical features were identified and defined.
An interventional study was conducted to assess whether a training program that applied the skill descriptions recommended by the Western Australian Department of Education and pedagogical approaches with a supportive non-competitive psycho-social climate designed could improve the unconstrained overarm throwing skills in the ‘less skilled’ quartiles of children. It was found that the fundamental movement skills training group ‘reduced the gap’ in some of the critical movement patterns. However, the gap was not completely closed for any critical feature and there was no reduction in the gap in critical features relating to rotational sequencing, critical time of discrete events, and self-efficacy.
This study provided useful information on the effectiveness of the instructions and pedagogical approaches and proposed changes to the Western Australian Department of Education manual required to improve future intervention programs.