Is the level of eye-hand coordination and executive functioning related to performance in para table tennis players? – An explorative study

  • Irene R. Faber University of Oldenburg
  • Johan Pion HAN University of Applied Sciences
  • Bas Willemse HAN University of Applied Sciences
  • Willianne Schipper HAN University of Applied Sciences
  • Maria Nijhuis-Van der Sanden Radboud University Medical Centre
Keywords: Sports for Persons with Disabilities, Psychomotor performance, Mental Processes, Aptitude


The goal of this explorative study was to explore whether eye-hand coordination and executive functions (i.e. cognitive flexibility, attention control and information processing) are related to the performance level in para table tennis players. The data of 11 elite (age 15-54) and 11 non-elite para table tennis players (age 13-49) were analyzed. The results showed that the elite players performed better than the median norm values for cognitive flexibility and attention control while the non-elite players demonstrated slower information processing than the median norm values (p<0.05). The players’ competition rating correlated significantly with the eye-hand coordination, cognitive flexibility and information processing measures (p < 0.05). Players with a competition rating > 1000 points scored ≥ 24 catches per 30 s in the eye hand coordination task, whereas the players with < 1000 rating points score ≤ 18 catches per 30 s. In contrast, there was a clear overlap of scores between the players with > 1000 and < 1000 rating scores in the executive functions tests. The results present a first profile of para table tennis players regarding their eye-hand coordination and executive functions and the relationship of these constructs with the performance level. Long-term international cooperation is recommended to understand the value of the measured constructs to predict future successes.

Author Biographies

Irene R. Faber, University of Oldenburg

Institute of Sport Science, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
International Table Tennis Federation, Lausanne, Switzerland

Johan Pion, HAN University of Applied Sciences

Institute for Studies in Sports and Exercise, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Bas Willemse, HAN University of Applied Sciences

Institute for Studies in Sports and Exercise, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Willianne Schipper, HAN University of Applied Sciences

Institute for Studies in Sports and Exercise, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Maria Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, Radboud University Medical Centre

Radboud University Medical Centre, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, IQhealthcare, Nijmegen, The Netherlands


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How to Cite
Faber, I. R., Pion, J., Willemse, B., Schipper, W., & Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M. (2019). Is the level of eye-hand coordination and executive functioning related to performance in para table tennis players? – An explorative study. International Journal of Racket Sports Science, 1(1), 45-60.