The relationship between sport-specific training and a perceptuo-motor skills assessment as part of talent identification in young table tennis players (8-10 years)
A perceptuo-motor skills assessment was developed to better estimate the potential of youth table tennis players (8-10 years). Sport-specific training experience might influence the outcomes of this assessment and hinder a fair interpretation. Consequently, the aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the training experience (i.e. quantity and quality) and the perceptuo-motor skills assessment outcomes in youth table tennis players. For this purpose, data were collected during the national association’s talent days in the Netherlands (2010-2015). In total, 372 young table tennis players (8-10 years) were assessed by a perceptuo-motor skills questionnaire covering current training (hours/week), total training volume (hours) and quality of the trainer (high versus low). Non-parametric partial correlation analyses showed that training quantity outcomes (i.e. current training and training volume) are significantly associated with the test items of speed while dribbling, aiming at target and eye-hand coordination in both sexes with small to medium effect sizes. The multivariate GLM analyses revealed no significant differences between players receiving high versus low quality training regarding the perceptuo-motor skills assessment. The results indicated only a small transfer of skill and a substantial amount of task specificity; as such it seems legitimate to use the perceptuo-motor skills assessment as part of a talent identification programme. However, it seems sensible to take the training volume into account for a fair interpretation of the estimation of potential, especially when large differences exist between players regarding the training experience. Future studies using a longitudinal design could reveal more about the effect of training.
Behringer, M., vom Heede, A., Matthews, M., & Mester, J. (2011). Effects of strength training on motor performance skills in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Pediatric exercise science, 23(2), 186-206.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Abingdon: Routledge.
Collins, R., Collins, D., MacNamara, Á., & Jones, M. I. (2014). Change of plans: an evaluation of the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of successful talent transfer. Journal of sports sciences, 32(17), 1621-1630.
Côté, J., Baker, J., & Abernethy, B. (2007). Practice and play in the development of sport expertise. In: R. Eklund & G. Tenenbaum (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology (3rd edition). Hoboken, NJ; Wiley.
de Bosscher, V., Bingham, J., Shibli, S., Bottenburg, M. van, & Knop, P. de (2007). The global sporting arms race. An international comparative study on sports policy factors leading to international sporting success. Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Sport.
de Camargo Barros, J. A., Tani, G., & Corrêa, U. C. (2017). Effects of practice schedule and task specificity on the adaptive process of motor learning. Human movement science, 55, 196-210.
Elferink-Gemser, M. T. (2005). Today's talented youth field hockey players, the stars of tomorrow?: a study (Doctoral dissertation). Groningen: Elferink-Gemser.
Elferink-Gemser, M., Jordet, G., Coelho E Silva, M. J., & Visscher, C. (2011). The marvels of elite sports: How to get there? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45, 683–684.
Ellison, P. H., Kearney, P. E., Sparks, S. A., Murphy, P. N., & Marchant, D. C. (2018). Further evidence against eye–hand coordination as a general ability. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 13(5), 687-693.
Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T. & Tesch-Romer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100, 363-406.
Faber, I. R., Elferink-Gemser, M. T., Oosterveld, F. G. J., & Nijhuis-Van Der Sanden, M. W. G. (2014a). Revision of two test items of the Dutch motor skills assessment measuring ball control in young table tennis players: A reproducibility and validity study. Annals of Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 5, 53–69.
Faber, I. R., Oosterveld, F. G. & Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M. W. (2014b). Does an eye-hand coordination test have added value as part of talent identification in table tennis? A validity and reproducibility study. PloS one, 9(1), e85657.
Faber, I. R., Nijhuis-Van Der Sanden, M. W., Elferink-Gemser, M. T., & Oosterveld, F. G. (2015). The Dutch motor skills assessment as tool for talent development in table tennis: a reproducibility and validity study. J Sport Sci, 33(11), 1149-1158.
Faber, I. R. (2016). Diamonds in the rough. Searching for high potential in youth table tennis players (Doctoral dissertation). Twello: Faber.
Faber, I. R., Elferink-Gemser, M. T., Faber, N. R., Oosterveld, F. G., & Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M. W. (2016). Can perceptuo-motor skills assessment outcomes in young table tennis players (7–11 years) predict future competition participation and performance? An observational prospective study. PloS one, 11(2), e0149037.
Faber, I. R., Pion, J., Munivrana, G., Faber, N. R., & Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M. W. (2018). Does a perceptuomotor skills assessment have added value to detect talent for table tennis in primary school children? Journal of sports sciences, 36(23), 2716-2723.
Faber, I. R., Damsma, T., & Pion, J. (in press). Chapter 8: Finding talent and establishing the road to excellence in table tennis – The Dutch case. In: J. Baker, S. Cobley, & J. Schorer (Eds.), Talent Identification and Development in Sport: International Perspectives (2nd edition). Abingdon: Routledge.
Farhat, F., Hsairi, I., Baati, H., Smits-Engelsman, B. C. M., Masmoudi, K., Mchirgui, R., Triki, C., & Moalla, W. (2016). The effect of a motor skills training program in the improvement of practiced and non-practiced tasks performance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Human movement science, 46, 10-22.
Gagné, F. (2004). Transforming gifts into talents: The DMGT as a developmental theory. High ability studies, 15(2), 119-147.
Gamble, P. (2006). Implications and applications of training specificity for coaches and athletes. Strength Cond J, 28(3),54–58.
Huijgen, B. C. H. (2013). Technical skills, the key to succes? A study on talent development and selection of youth soccer players (Doctoral dissertation). Groningen: Huijgen.
Issurin, V. B. (2013). Training transfer: scientific background and insights for practical application. Sports Med, 43, 675–694.
Kramer, T. (2019). How to develop a Grand Slam winner… Physical and psychological skills in Dutch junior tennis players (Doctoral dissertation). Groningen: Kramer.
Morrow, J. R., Jackson, A. W., Disch, J. G., & Mood, D. P. (2011). Measurement and evaluation in human performance (4th ed.). Champaign IL: Human Kinetics.
Pion, J. (2015). The Flemish sports compass: From sports orientation to elite performance prediction (Doctoral dissertation). Ghent: Ghent University.
Pion, J., Hohmann, A., Liu, T., Lenoir, M., & Segers, V. (2017). Predictive models reduce talent development costs in female gymnastics. Journal of sports sciences, 35(8), 806-811.
Platvoet, S., Faber, I. R., De Niet, M., Kannekens, R., Pion, J., Elferink-Gemser, M. T., & Visscher, C. (2018, September). Development of a tool to assess fundamental movement skills in applied settings. Frontiers in Education, 3:75. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2018.00075.
Rea, T., & Lavallee, D. (2015). An examination of athletes' experiences of the talent transfer process. Talent Development and Excellence, 7(1), 41-67.
Rylander, P., Karlsteen, M., Kougioumtzis, K., & Gustafsson, J. E. (2019). The specificity versus generality of ball-handling skills–Empirical evidence for a general ball-handling ability. Human movement science, 66, 477-486.
Schmidt, R. A., & Lee, T. D. (2011). Motor control and learning: a behavioral emphasis (5th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Seifert, L., Papet, V., Strafford, B. W., Gogliani, A., & Davids, K. (2019). Skill transfer, expertise and talent development: An ecological dynamics perspective. Movement & Sport Sciences, 102(4), 39-49.
Sigmundsson, H., Trana, L., Polman, R., & Haga, M. (2017). What is trained develops! theoretical perspective on skill learning. Sports, 5(2), 38.
Stoter, I. K. (2020). Staying on track - The road to elite performance in 1500m speed skating (Doctoral dissertation). Groningen: Stoter Thorndike, E. L. (1914). Education psychology: Briefer course. Abingdon: Routledge.
Vaeyens, R., Lenoir, M., Williams, A. M., & Philippaerts, R. M. (2008). Talent identification and development programmes in sport. Sports medicine, 38(9), 703-714.
Vandorpe, B., Vandendriessche, J. B., Vaeyens, R., Pion, J., Lefevre, J., Philippaerts, R. M., & Lenoir, M. (2012). The value of a non-sport-specific motor test battery in predicting performance in young female gymnasts. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30(5), 497-505.