Research Topic

Nurturing Skill By Modifying The Task And Equipment In Junior Sports

About this Research Topic

Modified sport offers a powerful framework to study the development of perception and action as children physically mature and as the constraints of the sport (e.g., game) change. By way of example, the constraints of club sport shape children’s behavior; hence, by extension, an appropriately sized game can ...

Modified sport offers a powerful framework to study the development of perception and action as children physically mature and as the constraints of the sport (e.g., game) change. By way of example, the constraints of club sport shape children’s behavior; hence, by extension, an appropriately sized game can shape the development of the necessary skills for senior sport. There has been a significant increase in research focusing on modified sport over the past decade. This research has highlighted several benefits when a sport is appropriately scaled, including improved performance and coordination, and more desirable match-play behaviour. There has also been a growing interest in the use of modified sport during practice, such as modifying equipment to induce variability or the use of modifications within non-linear pedagogy.

Despite efforts to unpack modified sport, many questions remain unanswered. For instance, should the junior game preserve the critical information and motor constraints from the professional (adult) game, or should they reflect something else such as the zone of proximal development? There are also paradoxes in our thinking. Most sports offer recommendations that progress linearly from scaled to full-sized conditions. Practically this works, but does it contradict the non-linearity of learning and the (dis)continuities of motor development? Similarly, there is an assumption that modified sport affords greater opportunities to play as a consequence of simplifying the game. Logically the increase in repetitions should expedite learning, but does this also increase the risk of overuse injuries?

This Research Topic welcomes articles that investigate and discuss any of these questions as they relate to modified sports for children. Furthermore, we welcome studies that investigate the several theoretical issues related to these questions, including:
• information-movement coupling;
• movement variability;
• degeneracy;
• affordances;
• coordination stability and instability as skill progresses;
• dynamic touch;
• body-scaling;
• the interaction of constraints;
• non-linear pedagogy;
• tactical behavior;
• cognitive underpinnings of learning (e.g., implicit or explicit).

The following article types will be accepted: Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Original Research, Protocols, Reviews, Systematic Reviews, Technology Reports, and Policy and Practice Reviews.


Keywords: Scaling children’s sport, Modified equipment;, Constraints-led approach, Motor control and learning;, Skill acquisition


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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