Motor Learning of Gross-Motor Skills under Variable Practice Conditions


  • Anita Haudum
  • Jürgen Birklbauer
  • Kröll Josef
  • Erich Müller



Research background and hypothesis. For both the athlete and the coach, the purpose and goal of training
is the same: to enhance performance.
Research aim. This study investigated the effect of differential learning on basketball free throw and
volleyball strike.
Research methods. In the basketball experiment, in pre-, post- and retention test design, the free throw
performance was measured (number of successful shots). Aiming to investigate transfer performance, jump shots
were tested. In the volleyball experiment, movement variability during the strike was further increased by the
application of an elastic constraint. The second intervention and quasi-control group trained under constant practice
conditions. Ball velocity and accuracy were analysed with a constant and a variable test.
Research results. No signifi cant differences were observed for either the free throw (p > 0.05) or the transfer
performance (p > 0.05). However, a positive trend for the variable group was observed in the transfer situation.
For the strike in volleyball, the differential learning group had a signifi cant advantage with respect to velocity in
a variable test situation (p < 0.05) whereas in the constant situation (p > 0.05) and measurements for accuracy
(p > 0.05) it did not reveal similar results.
Discussion and conclusions. In both experiments, the set variability leads to benefi ts in variable (transfer)
situations. However, as a practical consequence, especially for constant situations, certain moderator variables such
as training age or background in other sports or activities must be kept in mind to adjust the amount of external
or intervention-induced variability.

Keywords: differential learning, variability, adaptability, ball sports.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Haudum, A., Birklbauer, J., Josef, K., & Müller, E. (2018). Motor Learning of Gross-Motor Skills under Variable Practice Conditions. Baltic Journal of Sport and Health Sciences, 1(80).



Health, Rehabilitation and Adapted Physical Activity