Effectiveness of a video-feedback and questioning programme to develop cognitive expertise in sport

Luis García-González, M Perla Moreno, Alberto Moreno, Alexander Gil, Fernando del Villar
PloS One 2013, 8 (12): e82270
The importance within sport expertise of cognitive factors has been emphasised in many research studies. Adaptations that take place in athletes' long-term memories are going to condition their decision-making and performance, and training programmes must be developed that improve these adaptations. In our study, we provide a tactical-cognitive training programme based on video-feedback and questioning in order to improve tactical knowledge in tennis players and verify its effect when transferred to athletes' decision-making. 11 intermediate tennis players participated in this study (12.9 ± 0.7 years old), distributed into two groups (experimental, n = 5; control, n = 6). Tactical knowledge was measured by problem representation and strategy planning with a verbal protocol. Decision-making was measured by a systematic observation instrument. Results confirm the effectiveness of a combination of video-feedback and questioning on cognitive expertise, developing adaptations in long-term memory that produce an improvement in the quality of tactical knowledge (content, sophistication and structure). This, in turn, is transferred to the athletes' decision-making capacity, leading to a higher percentage of successful decisions made during game play. Finally, we emphasise the need to develop effective programmes to develop cognitive expertise and improve athletes' performance, and include it in athletes' formative stages.

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