Profiles of Motor Laterality in Young Athletes' Performance of Complex Movements: Merging the MOTORLAT and PATHoops Tools
Prat Ambrós, Queralt
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Laterality is a key aspect of the analysis of basic and specific motor skills. It is relevant to sports because it involves motor laterality profiles beyond left-right preference and spatial orientation of the body. The aim of this study was to obtain the laterality profiles of young athletes, taking into account the synergies between the support and precision functions of limbs and body parts in the performance of complex motor skills. We applied two instruments: (a) MOTORLAT, a motor laterality inventory comprising 30 items of basic, specific, and combined motor skills, and (b) the Precision and Agility Tapping over Hoops (PATHoops) task, in which participants had to perform a path by stepping in each of 14 hoops arranged on the floor, allowing the observation of their feet, left-right preference and spatial orientation. A total of 96 young athletes performed the PATHoops task and the 30 MOTORLAT items, allowing us to obtain data about limb dominance and spatial orientation of the body in the performance of complex motor skills. Laterality profiles were obtained by means of a cluster analysis and a correlational analysis and a contingency analysis were applied between the motor skills and spatial orientation actions performed. The results obtained using MOTORLAT show that the combined motor skills criterion (for example, turning while jumping) differentiates athletes' uses of laterality, showing a clear tendency toward mixed laterality profiles in the performance of complex movements. In the PATHoops task, the best spatial orientation strategy was "same way" (same foot and spatial wing) followed by "opposite way" (opposite foot and spatial wing), in keeping with the research assumption that actions unfolding in a horizontal direction in front of an observer's eyes are common in a variety of sports.
Is part ofFrontiers In Psychology, 2018, vol. 9, núm. 916
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