The Effect of Nonregulatory Stimuli on the Triple Jump Approach Run
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The purpose of this experiment was to examine the approach run of the triple jump. Specifically, we examined the effect of nonregulatory stimuli (Gentile, 1972) on two different ability levels in performing the triple jump approach run. These nonregulatory constraints (situational factors such as those seen in actual competition) were employed in three jumping conditions: Control (to obtain baseline performance measures), Distance (where participants attempted to obtain as great a jump as possible), and Accuracy (participants attempted to be as accurate as possible on takeoff without sacrificing distance). The results showed that the footfall position variability for all conditions was similar to those previously reported for the long jump approach run. However, in compliance with the nonregulatory constraints, participants altered other performance parameters in executing the approach run. The situational factors created changes that revealed themselves in foot placement on the takeoff board at the end of the approach run (foot position constant error and number of fouls increased for the Distance condition) and decreased horizontal velocity at takeoff in the Accuracy condition. Changes in performance parameters were related to the context in which the skill was performed and may further reflect changes made by jumpers in the course, such as a visual-motor task in competition. We suggest that the characteristics of the approach run may not be fully revealed by the pattern of footfall variability only, as has been suggested in previous work (e.g., Lee, Lishman, & Thomson, 1982), but that the situation under which the jump is performed may have a significant effect on the performance parameters that emerge in executing this type of motor skill.
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