Research Topic

Performance errors and augmented feedback in sports and physical education

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Skill mastery in sports is often thought to result from motor acquisition processes in which the learner has gained the ability to cope with performance errors on a functional level. Performance errors may not only occur on different stages of the skill acquisition process, but they may also stem from ...

Skill mastery in sports is often thought to result from motor acquisition processes in which the learner has gained the ability to cope with performance errors on a functional level. Performance errors may not only occur on different stages of the skill acquisition process, but they may also stem from different influences such as inadequate methodical progressions (i.e., moving too fast from step to step), or dysfunctional feedback information given by the practitioner (i.e., focusing on dysfunctional aspects).


Augmented feedback, however, is often generated on the basis of visual observations of the skill to be mastered and the underlying (mental) representations of the teacher/coach. In these observations the coach or teacher usually tries to identify the performance errors and the error causes prior to generating feedback for a particular athlete or pupil. Research in sports and physical education settings has focused on the content and structure of feedback while error detection and identification was somewhat neglected. While it is commonly accepted that augmented feedback is essential for motor skill acquisition and mastery, the question arises which perceptual-cognitive processes underlie error detection and identification and thus lead to a particular feedback which in turn may lead to a successful skill performance. From this point of view research related to assimilation of information (which should optimize performance control) as well as feedback should be stepped up. This may especially be questionable in physical education settings where the teacher has to deal with heterogeneous groups of pupils of different age and sex who differ in aspects such as experience or coordinative ability.


The research topic thus addresses perceptual-cognitive processes that may underlie error detection and identification in physical education settings in a multidisciplinary framework. Manuscripts discussing empirical studies in light of different theoretical backgrounds (i.e., direct and indirect perception) and utilizing different methodical approaches (i.e., quantitative: eye-tracking, temporal and spatial occlusion, decision making tasks, biomechanical analyses; qualitative: interviews, questionnaires) are strongly requested in order to approach the question of the Research Topic. Contributors may also submit discussions on best-practice models or single-case studies.


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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