Psychological Research

, Volume 81, Issue 5, pp 1051–1058 | Cite as

Choices enhance punching performance of competitive kickboxers

  • Israel Halperin
  • Dale W. Chapman
  • David T. Martin
  • Rebecca Lewthwaite
  • Gabriele Wulf
Original Article

Abstract

While self-controlled practice has been shown to enhance motor learning with various populations and novel tasks, it remains unclear if such effects would be found with athletes completing familiar tasks. Study 1 used a single case-study design with a world-champion kickboxer. We investigated whether giving the athlete a choice over the order of punches would affect punching velocity and impact force. Separated by 1 min of rest, the athlete completed 2 rounds of 12 single, maximal effort punches (lead straight, rear straight, lead hook and rear hook) delivered to a punching integrator in a counterbalanced order over six testing days. In one round the punches were delivered in a predetermined order while in the second round the order was self-selected by the athlete. In the choice condition, the world champion punched with greater velocities (6–11 %) and impact forces (5–10 %). In Study 2, the same testing procedures were repeated with 13 amateur male kickboxers over 2 testing days. Similar to Study 1, the athletes punched with significantly greater velocities (6 %, p < 0.05) and normalised impact forces (2 %, p < 0.05) in the choice condition. These findings complement research on autonomy support in motor learning by demonstrating immediate advantages in force production and velocity with experienced athletes.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Israel Halperin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dale W. Chapman
    • 1
    • 2
  • David T. Martin
    • 2
  • Rebecca Lewthwaite
    • 3
    • 4
  • Gabriele Wulf
    • 5
  1. 1.Edith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Institute of SportCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation CenterDowneyUSA
  4. 4.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.University of NevadaLas VegasUSA

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