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Perceptual-Cognitive and Cognitive Skills in Youth Volleyball Players

(2019)
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Abstract
De Waelle, S.; Bennett, S.J.; Lenoir, M; Deconinck, F.J.A. Ghent University Liverpool John Moores University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences Introduction. Volleyball is a fast ball sport and – consistent with similar sports – we know that elite players outperform their less-skilled counterparts on tests for perceptual-cognitive skills such as anticipation and decision making. What remains unclear, however, is how these perceptual-cognitive skills develop in youth players, and to what extent this development relates to core cognitive functions. Therefore, this study aims to examine the relationship between perceptual-cognitive and cognitive functions in youth volleyball players. Method. 145 Female volleyball players between 7 and 16 years old were recruited. Anticipation and decision making were assessed using video-based occlusion tests as a measure of sport-specific perceptual-cognitive skill. In these tests participants were to predict the direction of a pass (anticipation) or to decide the most optimal attack zone (decision making) as quickly and as possible using an adapted keyboard. As a measure for generic perceptual-cognitive function, a multiple object avoidance task was administered, i.e. a videogame where participants had to avoid multiple moving objects, using the computer mouse. Selected tests from the Cambridge Brain Sciences test battery were used to assess cognitive function. The selected tests measured core executive functions (inhibition, working memory, switching), higher level executive functions (planning, reasoning, problem solving) and attention. Results. Canonical correlation analysis demonstrated a significant relation (Rc=0.541; Wilks’s =0.630; F(35,540.877)=1.797; p=0.004) between the set of perceptual-cognitive functions and the set of cognitive functions. The amount of shared variance was 37%. All variables in the perceptual-cognitive function set were valuable contributors to the canonical function, while the tests for reasoning, switching, planning and visual-spatial working memory were the main contributors for cognitive function. Discussion. These results show that the association between perceptual-cognitive and cognitive functions is already present in youth volleyball players. It is interesting to note that both sport-specific and generic perceptual-cognitive function contribute independently to this relationship. Furthermore, core executive functions (switching and visual-spatial working memory) as well as higher order executive functions (reasoning and planning) play a crucial role in this relation between cognitive and perceptual-cognitive function. Future research is warranted to examine how both perceptual-cognitive and cognitive function develop and how the relation might change with age. However, these results already give a strong indication for the consideration of perceptual-cognitive as well as cognitive functions in talent identification and development programs.

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
De Waelle, Silke, et al. Perceptual-Cognitive and Cognitive Skills in Youth Volleyball Players. 2019.
APA
De Waelle, S., Bennett, S., Lenoir, M., & Deconinck, F. (2019). Perceptual-Cognitive and Cognitive Skills in Youth Volleyball Players. Presented at the 24th European Conference of Sport Science, Prague.
Chicago author-date
De Waelle, Silke, Simon Bennett, Matthieu Lenoir, and Frederik Deconinck. 2019. “Perceptual-Cognitive and Cognitive Skills in Youth Volleyball Players.” In . Prague.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Waelle, Silke, Simon Bennett, Matthieu Lenoir, and Frederik Deconinck. 2019. “Perceptual-Cognitive and Cognitive Skills in Youth Volleyball Players.” In . Prague.
Vancouver
1.
De Waelle S, Bennett S, Lenoir M, Deconinck F. Perceptual-Cognitive and Cognitive Skills in Youth Volleyball Players. In Prague; 2019.
IEEE
[1]
S. De Waelle, S. Bennett, M. Lenoir, and F. Deconinck, “Perceptual-Cognitive and Cognitive Skills in Youth Volleyball Players,” presented at the 24th European Conference of Sport Science, Prague, 2019.
@inproceedings{8645236,
  abstract     = {De Waelle, S.; Bennett, S.J.; Lenoir, M; Deconinck, F.J.A. 
Ghent University
Liverpool John Moores University
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences
Introduction. Volleyball is a fast ball sport and – consistent with similar sports – we know that elite players outperform their less-skilled counterparts on tests for perceptual-cognitive skills such as anticipation and decision making. What remains unclear, however, is how these perceptual-cognitive skills develop in youth players, and to what extent this development relates to core cognitive functions. Therefore, this study aims to examine the relationship between perceptual-cognitive and cognitive functions in youth volleyball players.
Method. 145 Female volleyball players between 7 and 16 years old were recruited. Anticipation and decision making were assessed using video-based occlusion tests as a measure of sport-specific perceptual-cognitive skill. In these tests participants were to predict the direction of a pass (anticipation) or to decide the most optimal attack zone (decision making) as quickly and as possible using an adapted keyboard. As a measure for generic perceptual-cognitive function, a multiple object avoidance task was administered, i.e. a videogame where participants had to avoid multiple moving objects, using the computer mouse. Selected tests from the Cambridge Brain Sciences test battery were used to assess cognitive function. The selected tests measured core executive functions (inhibition, working memory, switching), higher level executive functions (planning, reasoning, problem solving) and attention.
Results. Canonical correlation analysis demonstrated a significant relation (Rc=0.541; Wilks’s =0.630; F(35,540.877)=1.797; p=0.004) between the set of perceptual-cognitive functions and the set of cognitive functions. The amount of shared variance was 37%. All variables in the perceptual-cognitive function set were valuable contributors to the canonical function, while the tests for reasoning, switching, planning and visual-spatial working memory were the main contributors for cognitive function. 
Discussion. These results show that the association between perceptual-cognitive and cognitive functions is already present in youth volleyball players. It is interesting to note that both sport-specific and generic perceptual-cognitive function contribute independently to this relationship. Furthermore, core executive functions (switching and visual-spatial working memory) as well as higher order executive functions (reasoning and planning) play a crucial role in this relation between cognitive and perceptual-cognitive function. Future research is warranted to examine how both perceptual-cognitive and cognitive function develop and how the relation might change with age. However, these results already give a strong indication for the consideration of perceptual-cognitive as well as cognitive functions in talent identification and development programs.
},
  author       = {De Waelle, Silke and Bennett, Simon and Lenoir, Matthieu and Deconinck, Frederik},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Prague},
  title        = {Perceptual-Cognitive and Cognitive Skills in Youth Volleyball Players},
  year         = {2019},
}