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A test of the variability of practice hypothes: the acquisition of a gross motor skill Spriddle, Dean 1993

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A TEST OF THE VARIABILITY OF PRACTICEHYPOTHESIS: THE ACQUISITION OF A GROSSMOTOR SKILLByDean SpriddleB.Ed., Scottish School of Physical Education, Jordanhill, 1989.A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTEROF PHYSICAL EDUCATIONinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESSCHOOL OFPhysical EducationWe accept this thesis as conforming to therequired standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAPRIL 1993© Dean Spriddle, 1993(Signature)In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.Department of  P^e-oucivntk)The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate  kb‘4" Afku- tq93 DE-6 (2/88)11ABSTRACTThe sport of golf presents the constant challenge of anovel movement problem with every succeeding shot. A novelmovement, in this instance, being a new and differentmovement experience (Schmidt, 1975).The purpose of this study was to test the Variability ofPractice Hypothesis (Schmidt, 1975) in a gross motor skilllearning situation. More specifically, to assess theeffectiveness of varying the initial conditions of a practicemethod, which was designed to facilitate the transfer of anexpanded range of skills to the actual playing situation.32 adult male and female golfers, who possessed ahandicap between 12 and 24 strokes were assigned to one oftwo experimental groups according to their scores on a pre-practice administration of a criterion golf accuracyperformance test.The experimental group undertook a variable practiceschedule incorporating a stance simulator which presented adiffering lie and elevation on each stroke, whereas, the controlgroup was presented with a constant practice schedule whichhad every ball played from the same location and lie.The criterion test was administered four times in total,throughout the course of the six week experiment and requiredeach subject to play three 120 yard approach shots from eachIIIof six different fairway locations and lies, to a slightly uphilltarget area (flag stick).The radial error values of each subject were analyzed bya 2 (groups) X 4 (tests) X 6 (positions) ANOVA with repeatedmeasures on the 2nd and 3rd factors. A Chi square test wasconducted from scatter plot graphs of each subject's shots, todetermine shot pattern similarities. The comments from eachsubject's self analysis checklist reports were recorded andclassified to detect any cognitive activity that reflectedaction plan recostructionThe variable practice group's performance showed asignificant improvement in golf shot accuracy, from each ofthe 6 test locations, in comparison to that of the constantpractice group. When the test positions were categorized, interms of severity of lie, an interaction effect was observedrevealing that the variable practice group improvedperformance on the less severe lies as well as the severe lies,whereas the constant practice group had no significantimprovement in performance.The Variability of Practice Hypothesis was tested whilstmanipulating the initial conditions of practice. Variablepractice in this practical field study found definite support forSchmidt's Hypothesis. From a practical point of view theresults from this study illustrate the benefits of variablepractice in a practice schedule adding strength to the positionthat the Variability of Practice Hypothesis should beivconsidered as a important guideline to the structure ofpractice experiences.VTABLE OF CONTENTS PAGEAbstract^ iiTable of ContentsList of Tables^ viList of Figures viiAcknowledgements^ viiiCHAPTER1. Introduction^ 1Purpose of Study 1 82. Methodology^ 21Statistical Analysis 2 93. Results and Discussion^ 3 14. Summary^ 5 3Recommendations^ 5 7References^ 5 9Bibliography 6 4Appendix1 -Golf Course Lie Simulator^ 6 92 -Typical Par 5 Hole^ 7 23 -Self Analysis Checklist 7 3v iLIST OF TABLES TABLE^ PAGE1. Test and Practice Schedule^ 242. Summary of strokes taken from each Test Location^26during Practice and Test sessions.3. Results of ANOVA for Method X Tests X Test Lie Locations.^324. Summary of the Mean and Standard Deviation scores of the^34Radial Error measures for each test for both groups duringthe study averaged over the 6 Test Lie Locations5. Summary of the Mean and Standard Deviation scores of the^37Radial Error measures of both groups from each TestLie Location.6. Pairwise comparison between Test Lie means^387. Summary of the Mean scores of the Radial Error measures^41from each Test Lie Location during the 4 Tests.8. Table of the Proportion of Stroke Clusters observed at Test^44Lie 1 for Test 4 only.9. Chi Square Table with Partial and Marginal Associations.^4610. Number of Comments in Categories from Self Analysis^49Checklist Report.viiLIST OF FIGURESFIGURE PAGE1. The Recall and Recognition Schema in relation to varioussources^of^information^(Schmidt,^1991).62. An Illustration of the Golf Course Lie Simulator 2 03 . A graph of the Radial Error Means for EG and CGs averagedover 6 Test Lie Locations.3 54 . Scatter Plot graph for both EG and CG from Test Lie Location 4 41 over the 4 Tests.viiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTSA sincere thank you to Dr. Gary Sinclair (Chair) and the rest ofmy thesis committee, Dr. Ian Franks and Dr. Sharon Whittaker-Bleuler. Also, thank you to Gilles Dufort for his assistance inproviding facilities for this project.Thank you to all of the volunteer subjects who faithfullyupheld the requirements of the study.CHAPTER IINTRODUCTIONResearchers and practitioners who are involved in thestudy of the acquisition and retention of motor skills areconcerned with determining the optimal design of practiceconditions (Shea & Kohl, 1990). Such practice conditions shouldthen be able to produce maximum test performance, whetherthe test condition is a competition or an evaluation situation inwhich the practiced skill must be performed. Specifically, thequestion for coaches and athletes alike is, under whatconditions should we practice in order to facilitate maximumtransfer to the performance or competition setting?The sport of golf presents the constant challenge of anovel movement problem with each shot. A novel movementbeing defined as a new and different movement experience(Schmidt, 1975). Traditionally, skill acquisition procedures ingolf have involved practice on a driving range with therepetitive hitting of a large number of shots, usually with thesame club. Unfortunately, this type of practice schedule doesnot adequately represent the task demands of actual golf play.Golf's self paced, open skill situations, present everchanging environmental conditions thereby making it virtuallyimpossible to create practice conditions that represent exactenvironmental fidelity. Of concern here is the need to be able1to produce successful actions in a variety of novel situations,that is, a way to generalize specific practice to the many novelvariations that will be encountered in the game situation.Spriddle (1991) determined that of all iron shots playedduring a round of golf, only 17 percent were played from whatcould be regarded as a level lie. Consequently, it can be saidthat the nature of the game of golf and the typical terrain thatit is played upon would suggest that practice upon flat lies haslimited value. The problem, from a theoretical perspective,involves the need to create and test practice conditions thatprovide for a variety of lies (change of initial conditions) foreach stroke (same class of movement) and thereby requiringactual course stance and stroke adaptations.Schmidt (1975), motivated by earlier work on schematheories of learning (Bartlett, 1932) and by the limitations ofexisting motor learning theories (Adams, 1971) proposed hisschema theory. To explain how a correct response could beproduced for an action not previously experienced, he proposedthat a fundamental aspect of motor skills learning involved theacquisition of a schemata that defines relationships among theinformation sources involved in the production and evaluationof motor responses within a class of actions.Adams (1971) Closed Loop Theory explanation waslimited to slow, limb positioning movements. Schmidt (1975)suggested that individuals do not store the exact specifics of2each movement to be performed in memory but rather, ageneral rule or schemata for each movement class. Basically,when an individual makes a movement that attempts to satisfysome goal, four pieces of information are abstracted: the initialconditions, the response specifications, the sensoryconsequences of the response and the outcome of thatmovement. A motor response schema develops for a particularclass of movements, within a generalised motor plan, andprovides situation specific characteristics to the action.In order for individuals to move effectively, informationis required about the pre-response state of their body and theenvironment in which they are to move (Keele, 1968; Pew,1974). These initial conditions consist of the informationreceived from the various receptors prior to the response, suchas proprioceptive information about limb and body positions inspace, as well as visual and auditory information about thestate of the environment. The response specifications arestored after the movement and serve as a record of thespecifications of that movement produced. The third type ofinformation stored after the movement is response producedsensory information. The sensory consequences informationconsists of actual feedback stimuli received visually, auditorily,and proprioceptively and are a representation of theinformation provided on the response. The fourth source ofinformation stored after the movement is the success of the3response in relation to the outcome that was originallyintended. The actual outcome of the movement is stored, notthe desired outcome. The response outcome information arisesfrom information the subject receives after the movement, andconsists of knowledge of results and subjective reinforcementthat the subject obtains from other sources of feedback. Theaccuracy of the outcome information is thus a direct function ofthe amount and accuracy of the feedback information. When anumber of different movements have been made, the subjectsbegin to abstract the information about the relationshipbetween these four sources of data. The strength of therelationship among the four stored elements increases witheach successive movement of the same action class andincreases with increased accuracy of feedback informationfrom the response outcome. This relationship is the generalizedmotor program or schema for the movement type underconsideration and is more important to the subject than anyone of the stored information sources (Posner & Keele, 1970).When an individual is required to make a response of atype for which he/she has a schema already developed, he/shebegins by determining the desired outcome for the movementand the initial conditions (Schmidt, 1975). From the existingrelationship between the past outcomes and responsespecifications the individual then estimates the set ofspecifications that will achieve the desired outcome (recall4schema). The subject need never have produced thosespecifications previously, as they are determined from acombination of initial conditions and an outcome that mightnever have been experienced previously. At the same time thatthe subject uses the schema to generate the responsespecifications, he/she also anticipates the expected sensoryconsequences of the movement (recognition schema). Theseexpected sensory consequences are compared with therespective in-flow of sensory information (the proprioceptiveand exteroceptive feedback) and the difference in the expectedand actual sensory consequences produce an error messagethat is fed back to the schema providing KR of the outcome ofthe response produced (subjective reinforcement). Thefollowing diagram (Figure 1) shows how these sources ofinformation are associated to form the schemata. One ofSchmidt's major predictions was that within a class ofmovements, the more the varied practice or previousexperiences had been, the better the performance would be ona novel task. This support for the notion of the schema wassuggested from the fact that subjects could produce movementsof a given class that they had never performed previously. Theexample cited by Schmidt (1975) was the basketball playerwho shoots from various places on the floor with greataccuracy. The notion is that the varied previous shootingexperiences led to increased schema strength, providing a basis5Figure 1.^The Recall and Recognition Schema in relationto various sources of information (Schmidt 1991).6for generating novel movements of that same class. Thisposition became known as the variability of practicehypothesis.Since the proposal of the Schema Theory (1975),numerous researchers have attempted to test the variability ofpractice prediction in a variety of movement experiences. Mostdesigns (Bird & Rikli, 1983; Husak & Reeve, 1979; Lee, Magill, &Weeks, 1985; Margolis & Christina, 1981; McCracken &Stelmach, 1977; Pigott & Shapiro, 1984; Wrisberg & Ragsdale,1979) compared variable practice groups with a constantpractice group. McCracken and Stelmach (1977), employing arapid-timing task, where the movement time was fixed andmovement distance was varied, used a variable practice groupwhich practiced at four distances, a constant practice group anda blocked practice group that practiced at only one distance forless than half the number of trials of the other two groups.When transferred to a novel distance, the variability practicegroup performed with significantly less absolute error than theother groups. It was concluded that the high variabilitypractice group had less error in a transfer test.Pigott and Shapiro (1984) discovered that there was anoptimal way to structure a variable practice session. Subjectstossed a weighted bean bag to a fixed target location. Threegroups experienced variability in practice with four bean bagsof varying weights (3, 4, 5, and 6 oz.), and the trial by trial7presentation of each weight was different for each group. Onegroup received a random presentation of each weight from trialto trial while another experienced random presentations of aweight for blocks of three trials. The third variability groupreceived blocked practice with six trials per block for eachweight. All variability groups experienced the same amount ofpractice at each weight. A constant practice group experiencedonly a single weight. Following 24 practice trials, all subjectswere required to transfer their performance outside the rangeof previous experience, receiving three trials with one of twopossible test weights (2 oz. or 7 oz.). The results indicated thatthe variability group practicing with blocks of three trials ateach variation led to superior transfer performance to novelvariations of the task.Wrisberg and Ragsdale (1979) used a tracking task to testthe hypothesis. In their experiment, subjects practiced ananticipation timing task in which they were to depress a buttonto be coincident with the illumination of the target (last) lampin a series of lights on a runway 29.5 cm long. Variability ofpractice conditions were developed for both stimulus andresponse characteristics of the task. The high stimulus, highresponse variability group practiced for 40 trials withvelocities of 22.35, 31.29, 49.17, and 58.12 cm/sec. The highstimulus, low response variability group observed the samefour speeds for 40 trials but did not make an overt response.8The low stimulus, high response subjects overtly responded toa constant stimulus speed of one of the four speeds used forthe high stimulus variability group. Finally, the low stimulus,low response group only observed a constant speed for 40trials. All subjects were then required to respond to a novelspeed of 40.23 cm/sec. The results of the experimentconfirmed that on the novel speed task, the subjects who wererequired to make an overt response and who had practiced thefour different stimulus speeds were more accurate inresponding to the novel speed.Lee, Magill, and Weeks (1985) used a two movementrapid timing task, with subjects learning to control their actionsunder one (constant) or four (variable) parameters, withvariable practice conducted under either a blocked orrandomized schedule. The error (variable and absolute) wassignificantly less in the random-variable practice group lendingstrong support for the schema theory prediction. It wassuggested that the results indicated that random practiceconditions promoted better retention and transfer because amore effective interference (forgetting) situation wasestablished relative to blocked conditions.Margolis and Christina (1981) used a rapid aimingresponse task while wearing prism glasses to test thevariability of practice hypothesis. The glasses enabled thesubjects to view the target, but not their responding limb or9the outcome of the movement. The groups with variable targetpractice had less error on all transfer tests to a novel target,than the groups with non variable target practice.Bird and Rikli (1983) used an angular positioning taskinvolving 48 right handed male and female college volunteersto test the schema theory. The task was accomplished byextending the forearm in a clockwise direction from thestarting point to a specified target location. Twelve subjectswere randomly assigned to each of four conditions, with equalmale and female subjects per group. Within the two levels ofpractice (variable/ constant), half of the subjects were exposedto a model (visual information only), while the other half wasassigned to a control group. The control manipulation consistedof physical movements executed in the absence of vision.During the acquisition phase, all subjects heard verbalknowledge of results after each trial. All subjects received 60knowledge of result acquisition trials prior to transferring to adifferent no knowledge of results location for 20 trials. Duringthe blindfolded, 20 no knowledge of results trials, all subjectsaimed at a new target located outside of their range of previouspractice. It had been proposed that subjects observing a modelwho employed a practice variability strategy would be superiorto subjects who observed a model who practiced underconstant conditions. This prediction was supported by the dataanalysis, which showed that the variable-modeling condition10had significantly less error during no knowledge of resulttransfer than did the constant modeling condition. It isimportant to note that, regardless of whether practice tookplace through modeling or through voluntary physicalmovements, the direction of the means was consistently infavour of practice variability.Other research studies (Doody & Zelaznik, 1988; Johnson& McCabe, 1982; Newell & Shapiro, 1976; and Zelaznik, 1977),involving more limited variability of practice failed to supportthe hypothesis. Newell and Shapiro (1976), used twoexperiments to test predictions of the variability hypothesis.Rapid linear timing movements were employed tooperationally separate the recall and recognition of asubsequent transfer to another task. This rapid-timing taskwith fixed movement distance, allowed subjects to practice ateither one movement time (constant) or two movement times(variable) and then to transfer either inside or outside therange of their previous response variations. For absolute error,there were no differences between the constant and variablegroups when transferred inside the range of the variablegroup. However, when transferred outside of their previousrange of experiences, the variable group had significantly lesserror on the slower transfer task than the constant group,providing partial support for the schema theory.11Doody and Zelaznik (1988) found that when subjectstransferred outside of their range of previous experiences,subjects using constant practice performed the transfer taskwith less error than the variability group. The subjects" taskwas to learn to execute a movement which resembled a lefthanded backhand movement (such as in tennis) so that adistance, visible at all times, was covered in 200ms. Themovement was executed from a sitting position. The results ofthe transfer portion of the experiment suggested that whensubjects transferred outside of the range of their previousexperiences the subjects who performed the transfer task withless absolute error were the constant practice subjects. Theconstant practice group had more practice at a task similar innature (40 cm distance - 47.5 cm) to the criterion test than didthe variable group who experienced a greater variety ofpractice although none similar to the test situation.Zelaznik (1977) used a rapid-timing task wheremovement time was fixed and movement distance was varied.Zelaznik trained a variability group at three distances and aconstant group at only one distance. This constant grouppracticed closer to the transfer target than did the variabilitygroup. The transfer data demonstrated that the groupexperiencing variability of practice was not significantlydifferent in absolute error from the constant group on thenovel task. In addition, the group means were ordered contrary12to the schema prediction, with the variability groupdemonstrating higher error than a constant group.Johnson and McCabe (1982) used a ballistic positioningtask with subjects sliding a ball bushing to rebound off abumper located at the end of a trackway so that it would stopat a designated target. Subjects in a variability group practiced50 trials at random distances of 210, 230, 250, 290, and 310cm. Three practice groups practiced with a constant schedule of50 training trials at distances of 230, 270 and 310cm,respectively. The final group was a control group with nopractice experience. It was concluded from the results that thevariable practice group did not perform with significantly lessabsolute error than groups experiencing only one distance,which did not support Schmidt's variability of practicehypothesis.In summary, a number of experiments were conducted totest the Variability of Practice Hypothesis. The effect ofvariable practice schedules were studied via a variety ofmovement tasks which varied distance requirements within afixed time period or varied the number of movements withinrapid timing requirements. In addition, the timing ofmovements under anticipation response conditions, as well as,aiming response accuracy while visually limited, wereexplored. In all situations, the degree of transfer to the novel13task, or retention test, setting was significantly enhanced by avariable practice schedule.Limited support of the Variability of Practice Hypothesiswas found in experiments that examined the effects upontransfer outside the range of the practice schedule. A rapidlinear timing movement study revealed support only at theslower speeds, whereas, a fixed time and distance requirementbenefited more from a constant practice schedule. Two otherstudies, one involving varied distance requirements within afixed time period and the other involving ballistic positioning,found no significant differences in results between variableand constant practice schedules. As the design of these studiesincorporated a criterion test that resembled the constantpractice schedule, it is suggested that they did not provide asuitable test of the Hypothesis, that is, the transfer tests did notappear to be novel. None of the previous studies have lookedat the effect of varying the initial conditions, with respect tothe recall schema, of each practice trial in a practical fieldbased study. The initial conditions consist of the informationreceived from the senses prior to the desired response, such asproprioceptive information about the positions of the limbs andbody in space, as well as visual and auditory information aboutthe state of the environment (Schmidt, 1975).14SimulatorsFor the game of golf the changing nature of the responserequirements in every situation makes it essential to vary therelevant stimuli related to performing the skill in the learningsetting. Providing this type of variability during practiceenables the performer to acquire the repertoire of motorpatterns that match the possible responses that may berequired (Gentile, 1972). An important requirement of practice,therefore, is that it provide a variety of experiences related tothe skill being learned, that is, practice schedules and practiceenvironments should be manipulated to present or simulate avariety of performance specific situations.The overall goal of any simulation situation is for thetransfer of learning on a particular simulator to the criteriontask. For example, the use of ball serving or pitching machinesin tennis or baseball is based upon the assumption that skillgained as a result of practice with the machines will positivelytransfer to the real situation (Magill, 1989).Schmidt (1982) concluded that, during the early stages oflearning, simulators were excellent for teaching proceduraldetails and could save considerable time and money, comparedto that involved with training on the actual equipment.Kolers and Roediger (1984) have argued that whataccounts for transfer between practice and test or between twoskills is the similarity of the procedures required by the two1516situations or skills. In fact, they argued that many transfereffects in motor learning could be accounted for by invokingthis "procedures" explanation. Even though the majority ofstudies concerning the use of simulators have shown theirresults to be, at best, equal with those achieved on the real taskthere is evidence that simulators provide a more efficienttraining medium. The Weitzman et al (1979) study indicatedthat the use of a simulator for training helicopter pilots wasable to provide a greater diversity of situations than the realtask and was, therefore, move effective. In this study, ahelicopter simulator was used to train 36 helicopter pilots ininstrument flight. The results showed that pilots trained in thesimulator were better prepared for instrument flight than thepilots trained solely in the helicopter.A meta-analysis of flight simulation research wasconducted by Hays, Jacobs, Prince, and Salas (1992) to identifythose characteristics associated with the effectiveness ofsimulator training. The major finding was that the use of asimulator combined with aircraft training consistentlyproduced improvements in training for jets compared toaircraft training only.Minaert (1950) discovered a significant difference whenski simulation training was compared to no practice at all onskiing ability. The study looked at the effect that dry land skisimulation had on 32 college women learning the snow plow,snow plow turn and stem turn. The results showed that theamount of time needed to master the skill on the hill wassignificantly less for the dry land simulation group than forsubjects who had no practice at all.Past research in areas of swimming, bowling, and golfinstruction for beginners has shown that the use of simulationdid not have an advantage over equivalent practice time on thereal task (Chui, 1965; Nixon & Locke, 1973). Chui (1965)discovered that golf performance of beginners showed nosignificant difference when using a simulated golf practicedevice (Golf-O-Tron) as compared to the conventional drivingrange method. In this study the conditions of practice variedfor each successive trial. The golf-o-tron was a videorepresentation of a golf course and after each stroke the screenmoved to show the result of that previous stroke as well aswhat confronted the player on their next stroke. Thus, theplayer although playing from the same location for every shot,was required to select a different club and face different coursedistances and directions. In physical activities, the use ofsimulators have become important when the skill to be learnedis expensive or dangerous (e.g., pilot training), where facilitiesare limited (e.g., the golf course), or where real practice is notfeasible (Schmidt, 1991).Previous research, testing the application of the variability ofpractice hypothesis in real world settings, has not addressed17the effects of manipulating the "initial conditions" element ofthe recall schema development. In golf, to allow practice froma variety of different lies without using the golf course itself, acourse lie simulator would allow the initial conditions of eachpractice trial to be easily changed, thereby permitting thecreation of a variety of different lies during a practice session.The Golf Course Lie SimulatorThe overall goal of any simulation situation is for thetransfer of learning on a particular simulator to the criteriontask (Magill, 1989). For the purpose of this study, a Golf CourseLie simulator (GCLS) was designed and built to provide thenecessary game specific requirements for practice (see Figure2, and for details of the design and construction see Appendix1). In light of the nature of the game of golf and the realities ofgolf course management, access to game like locations forpractice purposes are virtually impossible. Consequently, theonly alternative available for course like practice conditionswas the GCLS platform.Purpose Using the GCLS, this study was designed to examine theeffects of varying the practice conditions (variable initialconditions vs constant initial conditions) in golf "practicesessions" upon performance on the golf course. Schmidt (1975)stated that the relationship between the "initial conditions" andthe desired outcome of the movement create the new and more1819accurate response specifications. Therefore, it washypothesized that by changing the initial conditions on everytrial (via the GCLS) an extended schemata would develop andthus performance in novel task situations would improve. Thereal world setting selected to test the hypothesis was a 120yard approach shot to the green on the 17th hole at theUniversity Golf Course in Vancouver, B.C.20Figure 2.^An illustration of the Golf Course Lie SimulatorCHAPTER IIMETHODOLOGYSubjects 32 adult male and female golfers, who possessed ahandicap between 12 and 24 strokes were assigned to one oftwo practice groups according to their scores on a pre-practiceadministration of the criterion performance test. Attritionfactors reduced the group size by five subjects, thus 13subjects (n= 8 males, n= 5 females) completed the study as theexperimental group (EG) and the remaining 14 subjects (n= 10males, n= 4 females) made up the control group (CG). Thesepre-practice scores were also used to establish a baselinemeasure for the determination of the extent of anyperformance changes which may have occurred during thecourse of the experiment. The subjects, whose ages rangedfrom 19 to 34 years (X = 22.4, SD = 2.5), were naive as to theexperimental hypothesis.Apparatus Experimental Group (EG)A GCLS (see Figure 2, and for details of design andconstruction see Appendix 1) was designed to be capable ofreplicating most of the reasonable lies or elevations that maybe encountered on a golf course (e.g., uphill, downhill, and side-2 1hill lies or any combination thereof). The simulator permittedthe presentation of a variety of lies from the same locationduring shot production sessions, that is, a variable randompractice schedule.Control Group (CG)The CG's shot production sessions occurred while standingon a conventional flat driving range surface, that is, a constantpractice schedule.Performance TestThe performance test was a target acquisition task whichrequired each subject to play 18 approach shots to a designatedspot (the hole on the green) with the intention of getting theirball to finish as close to the hole as possible. The par 5, 17thhole at the University Golf Club (Vancouver), was selected as itpresented many subtle variations of lies from the 120 yardapproach area. The test required all golfers to play 3 strokesfrom each of six different lies, all with the same club. The clubused for both warm up, practice and test was a 7 iron for thefemale subjects and a 9 iron for the male subjects. The choiceof the 7 and 9 irons were prescribed by a jury of six CanadianProfessional Golfers' Association professionals as being theappropriate club for female and males, respectively, to play ashot to a target 120 yards away.22Performance Test Procedures Before each of the four performance test sessions (seeTable 1), each subject "warmed up" by hitting 10 balls froma specified non-test location in preparation for the test. Theneach of the 27 subjects played three rotations of one ball fromeach of the six test positions for a total of 18 test shots. Theorder of trials was the same for every subject and for everytest session. A shot from position 1 was always followed by ashot from position 2 and then 3 until all six positions had beenplayed from, three times each.The distance that the ball finished from the target wasrecorded using a yard wheel. A direct line was taken from thetest location to the hole and the measure that was recordedreflected the error distance long or short of the target. Aperpendicular line was then taken to the ball to find the errordistance left or right of the intended target. With the resultanterror vectors forming a right angled triangle,the radial errordistance that the ball finished from the hole was calculatedusing Pythagoras' theorem.The six test positions were selected to represent the mostfrequent lie conditions with which players must contendduring their third strokes on a typical par 5 hole (see Appendix2). The angles of the test positions were determined bycalculating the value of the tangent of the horizontal andvertical distances at each of the six test positions. A spirit level2324Table 1.^Test and Practice ScheduleWeek^1^2^3^4^5^6Practice^M^M^M^MDays W^W^W^W^Th^F^ThNo. of Balls^90^90^90^90Test^Tl^T2^T3^T4(18)* (18) (18)^(18)*number of balls in testand two yardsticks were used to measure the perpendicularheight created by each angle of the test positions. From thesetwo distances the precise angle of elevation was determinedgeometrically.The six test positions, which remained the samethroughout the study, included two downhill lies, two uphilllies, and two sidehill lies. The angles of each position were :downhill 10 degrees (position 1), downhill 3.5 degrees (position2), uphill 4 degrees (position 3), sidehill 7 degrees above feetand 3.5 degrees downhill (position 4), sidehill 4 degrees belowfeet and 2.5 degrees downhill (position 5), and uphill 8 degrees(position 6) (See Table 2).Practice Procedure The EG and CG hit 30 practice shots three days per week(n = 3 x 30 = 90 shots) for four consecutive weeks(n = 360 shots), over the 12 session duration of the six weekstudy. Both groups practiced with the investigator present andwere hitting towards a target flag located at a distance of 120yards. Each EG practice session of 30 balls started with thesubject facing a 2 degree downhill lie with each of thesubsequent 29 shots being played from a different position.The first 20 balls were hit in groups of five (from the angles of2, 5, 9, 13, and 18 degrees, respectively) with the first groupoff a downhill lie, the second group off an uphill lie, the thirdoff an uphill and above the feet lie and the final group off a2526Table 2.^Summary of strokes taken from each Test Location during Practice and Test sessions. Angles in DegreesLocation^Practice (30)^Test (18)SidehillAbove/UphillBelow/UphillAbove/DownhillBelow/DownhillDownhillDownhill/BelowUphillUphill/Above2^(3.5/9,11/5.)2^(2/10,7.5/3.)3^(2.5/4,5/2,9/5.)3^(6/2,9/3,9.5/5.5.)5^(2,5,9,13,18.)5^(2,5,9,13,18.)5^(2,5,9,13,18.)5^(2,5,9,13,18.)3^(7/3.5.)3^(4/2.5.)6^(3.5,&10.)6^(4, & 8.)The lies are shown in parentheses.Example3.5/9 - a sidehill location, 3.5 degrees above feet and 9 degreesuphill.2,5 - two locations, one at 2 degrees downhill and one at 5 degreesdownhill.downhill and below the feet lie. The final 10 balls were playedfrom varying sidehill angles (below/downhill thenabove/downhill, below/uphill, and finally above/uphill). Therange of practice lies selected exceeded the test range but didnot replicate any of those lies. Each practice session took placeat the same time each day. The EG practiced one at a time atthe University playing fields with each practice session lastingapproximately 15 minutes. The CG also practiced one at a timebut at the University Golf club driving range. The EG practiceswere referred to as a variable random practice schedulewhereas the CG practice was regarded as a constant practiceschedule. All subjects agreed that they would not participate inany golf related activity during the course of the six weekstudy. It was confirmed at the end of the study that none ofthe subjects had any other contact with golf, other than thestudy during that time.Instructional Control and Self AnalysisAs the study did not provide formal instruction orteacher generated feedback of any kind, all subjects wererequired to monitor and regulate their own performance. Inorder to ensure that the self guided development of strokeproduction was within an acceptable performance framework,the use of a Self Analysis Checklist (SAC) (developed by Owens& Bunker, 1989, see Appendix 3) was incorporated. Thischecklist consisted of key fundamentals of the golf swing in2728sequential order.^The SAC was presented, and it's useexplained by the investigator, to every subject prior to the firstweek of practice. Each subject was required to complete a Self-Analysis Checklist Report (SACR) after every practice sessionand to review that analysis immediately prior to the warm upperiod preceding each subsequent practice session. The reportwas an opportunity for the subjects to make notations upontheir performance during their practice sessions. The subjectswere reminded, by review of their SACR, of the basicfundamentals of the golf stroke and, following each practicesession, they used the SAC to update their SACR aboutperformance and technical points which may otherwise havebeen forgotten from session to session. No KR was provided toany of the subjects by the investigator thus controlling theavailability of augmented information. As in the actual golfsituation, the general information available from the movementand the KR feedback visually available from the flight andresting location of the ball on the target surface were the onlyinformation sources available to the performer.Data Collection QuantitativeThe Performance Test was initially conducted at thebeginning of week 1 of the study to determine group allocationand to identify baseline or pre test measures (see Table 1). Thedata collected were the radial error measures of each ball interms of it's resting distance from the designated target. At theconclusion of the second week of practice, after 6 sessions of 30practice shots, each, the Performance Test was re-administered.Following the fourth and concluding week of practice, after 6more sessions of 30, a post experiment administration of thePerformance Test was completed. A final week of no practicewas permitted to elapse and then a Retention Performance Testwas conducted.Qualitative Each subject's Self Analysis Report represented achronicling of personal anecdotal data which summarized theirafter practice thoughts throughout the study. These data werescrutinized in terms of a stroke production vocabulary andthen categorized in terms of the five fundamental golfperformance components (Hogan, 1957) which provide a basisfor determining the correctness of a movement.Statistical Analysis A 2 x 6 x 4 (Practice Methods x Lie Positions x Tests)ANOVA with repeated measures on the last two factors, withthe radial error (absolute distance from target) of theperformance as the dependent variable, was conducted inorder to test the proposed hypotheses.^A supplementary Chi-2 9Square test (log-linear procedures) analysis was performed todetermine the independence of the pattern of final restingpostions of the strokes, between the two groups. This was donein light of the possibility that subjects with the same radialerror values could have produced different stroke patterns.Although it may not be practically important in golf, thepattern of stroke clusters would be valuable information froman instructional point of view. In order to obtain this strokepattern information the green was first divided into twoconcentric circles from the center of the green, and thensegmented into four equal quadrants which were aligned fromthe practice lie location.^This design yielded a 2 x 4 frequencytable for each group.^A frequency count in this contingencytable was subjected to a chi-square test to compare thedistribution of the stroke patterns between the two groups andthus determined degrees of similarity that may have existedbetween the two groups in terms of the direction andclustering of the strokes.30CHAPTER III RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONOuantitative Results The following section presents the results of thestatistical analyses in conjunction with the correspondingdiscussion.1. Comparison of Practice Methods and of Test Lies The results of a 2 (Practice Methods) by 6 (Test Lies) by4 (Tests) ANOVA, with repeated measures on the second andthird factors are presented in Table 3. Descriptive statistics forthe dependent variable (the radial error) were also given inTables 4, 5, and 6, each using a specific, or combination of,independent variables.Practice MethodAs can be seen in Table 3, a significant main effect wasfound for Practice Method, F (1,25) = 8.41, p. < .05. Comparingthe marginal means between the two groups indicated that theEG (37.2) outperformed the CG (44.8), collapsed across the fourTests and the 6 Test Lies. In addition, there was a significantMethod by Test interaction effect, F (3,75) = 3.78, p. < .05 aswell as a significant Test main effect, F (3,75) = 10.22, p. < .05.When the mean value between the two groups across the 4tests were compared (collapsed over Test Lies), it was evident3132Table 3.^Results of ANOVA for Method X Test X TestLie Locations. Source MS dfPractice Method 9450.7 1 8.41 <0.05Error 1123.8 25Tests 1602.2 3 10.22 <0.05Tests X Method 593.1 3 3.7 <0.05Error 156.7 25Test Lie 1651.5 5 8.3 <0.01Test Lie X Method 76.8 5 0.4 >0.05Error 197.9 125 Test X Test Lie 311.4 15 2.25 <0.05Test X Lie X Method 197.2 15 1.42 >0.01Error 138.7 3 7 5that the performances improved over the duration of the Testperiod. For example, the mean radial error for CGdecreased from 45.9 to 43.2 showing little improvement fromTest 1 to Test 4. The error score of the EG was almost the same(43.4) as that of the CG at Test 1, but was substantially reduced(i.e., 31.5) in test 4, indicating a greater improvement over thesame period (see Table 4, Figure 3.). Furthermore, a non-significant 3-way (Method by Test Lie by Test) interactioneffect (p. > .10) suggests that the pattern of the Method andTest interaction is consistent across all six Test Lies.These results indicate that the variable practice schedule wasmore effective than the^constant practice schedule in^theimprovement of the accuracy of the subjects' golf strokes, measuredby the radial error. From this result it appears that the subjects whoparticipated in the variable practice (GCLS) schedule were able toadapt more effectively to the actual course requirements than thosewhose schedule consisted of constant practice from a traditional flatsurface. This finding is in agreement with the results of Shea andMorgan (1979) who found that subjects who practised randomlyarranged trials showed greater retention and better transfer oftraining than did the subjects who practiced blocked trials.Test Lie LocationsWith respect to the^effect of Test Lies on the testperformance,^there was a significant Test Lie main effect,F(5,125) = 8.34, p < .01. This result is evident when the3334Table 4.^Summary of the Mean and Standard Deviation scores of the Radial Error measures for each Test for both groups during the study averaged over the 6 Test Lie Locations n^T1^T2^T3^T4^XFrr (13) 43.4 38.2 35.7 31.5 37.218.6 14.4 9.0 7.103 (14) 45.9 46.3 43.9 43.2 44.8s 16.1 17.1 11.4 11.250aa4540353025201510e5—0Pre 1 2 Post 3 Retention 4o Experimental ^ ControlTestsFigure 3. A graph of the Radial Error Means for EG and CGsaveraged over 6 Test Lie Locations.3536marginal means for the Test lie factor are examined. Forexample, as seen in Table 5, the marginal means ranged from38.54 at lie location 2 to 49.00 at lie location 4, indicating asubstantial performance difference between lie locations.Tukey's post hoc pairwise comparison test (see Table 6)confirmed this result, which produced a critical differencevalue of 10.5 thus identifying significant differences betweenLie 4 and Lies 2 and 5. In addition, the differences between Lie4 and Lies 1 and 3 approached significance. This resultconfirmed that approach shots played from downhill and uphilllies produced greater accuracy than approach shots playedfrom a combination of locations and sidehill locations. Lielocation 4 (sidehill and above/downhill) appeared to be themost difficult location from which to play an approach shot.The tendency from this type of lie is to produce a shot with asevere right to left flight path which typically tends to have atopspin applied to the ball due to the action of the clubheadduring the stroke. The tendency from a downhill lie is for theball to travel with a left to right trajectory due to the cuttingaction of the clubface on the ball. The cutting action imparts aside spin to the ball which thus flies from the left to the right.The tendency from an uphill lie is for the ball to travel fromthe right to the left. The clubface travels in a semi-circularmanner contacting the outside of the ball. As the club travels37Table 5.^Summary of the Mean and Standard Deviation scores of the Radial Error measures of both groups from each Test Lie Location n Ll L2 L3 L4 L5 L6l33 (13) 35.75 36.05 35.70 44.30 34.30 37.03s 13.03 10.63 10.88 11.98 13.70 10.50CG (14) 44.25 40.85 44.30 53.38 42.80 43.35s 16.13 13.10 13.55 15.65 12.35 13.03X (27) 40.20 38.50 40.20 49.00 38.70 40.3038Table 6.^Pairwise comparison between Test Lie means. Lie 1(40.2) 2(38.5) 3(40.2) 4(49.0) 5(38.7) 6(40.3)Lie 1 - 1.7 0.0 8.8 1.5 0.1Lie 2 * - 1.7 10.5 0.2 1.8Lie 3 * * - 8.8 1.5 0.1Lie 4 * * * - 10.3 8.7Lie 5 * * * - 1.6Lie 6 * * * * * -past the ball the action of the clubhead causes the spin andthus flight path.Furthermore, a non-significant Method by Test Lieinteraction effect (p>.5) indicates that the EG, when averagedover the 4 tests, consistently outperformed the CG at all 6 TestLies. It may be worth noting that the EG which practiced withvaried lie conditions for each trial and each Lie, still showedsubstantial improvement on all six Test Lies over the testperiod. This result supports the variability hypothesis(Schmidt, 1975, 1976), that is, practice variations about thecriterion task leads to better performance on the subsequentcriterion task retention test. Variable practice, in other words,enhances the development of a class of movement's, orperformance generalizability, and allows the performer toapply learning to situations and actions not specificallyexperienced in practice. It appears that the EG acquired a set ofrules to accommodate each practice situation requirementwhich transferred as a schema to fit the differing parametersof a new task, in this case, the criterion test.Test Lie Locations over the 4 Tests Finally, a significant Test Lie by Test interaction effect,F(15,375) = 2.25, p < .05 indicates that the trend ofthe performance improvement over the test period was not thesame across the six Test Lies. The reason for this interaction is39clear when the mean value of the radial error across the testperiod was examined (see Table 7). For example, the meansfor the Lie locations 1, 4, and 6 ranged from 44.3 to 56.2 atTest 1, but substantially reduced at Test 4, ranging from 34.0to 42.1. On the other hand, the mean of the lie locations 2, 3,and 5 at Test 1 was considerably lower and changed marginallyover the test period. This is a somewhat expected result as thesix lie locations during the performance tests varied in termsof angle of lie and direction of the lie to the target. The lielocations 1, 4, and 6 had a similar, but severe degrees of lieangle, while the other three (locations 2, 3, and 5) all had a lieangle close to flat. This suggests that all subjects, regardless ofteaching method, would have more difficulty at the first test inperforming an approach shot from a severe lie angle than theywould from a less severe lie. However, as the test progressed,this challenge was overcome, resulting in a more improvedperformance from the severe lies than from the less severelies. The greater improvement from the severe lies would beexpected as the Test 1 results indicated a higher error scoreand thus greater chance to improve. As the less severe liesproduced a higher level of performance at Test 1 increasedimprovement would be less evident from these locations.From a coaching point of view the results indicate theneed for a more realistic practice routine. Both the scheduleand the amount of practice should be emphasised to create a4041Table 7.^Summary of the Mean scores of the Radial ErrorMeasures from each Test Lie Location duringthe four Tests. T1 T2TestsT3 T4 XLocation 1 49.7 41.4 35.6 34.0 40.2Location 4 56.2 50.6 47.1 42.1 49.0Location 6 44.3 44.0 36.3 35.4 40.3Location 2 38.0 36.4 41.1 36.4 38.5Location 3 39.8 42.4 39.4 39.0 40.2Location 5 40.2 39.5 38.9 37.5 38.7more effective and game useful practice plan. As the resultsdemonstrate, more variation in practice, in this case created bychanging the initial conditions of each trial, produced a positivetransfer of practice results to the criterion task or gamesituation. Practice should reflect the nature of the task that thepractice is designed for. In golf, seldom are shots from varyinglies practiced, generally they are confronted in the game itselffor the first time. A varied practice schedule would allowplayers to perform effectively in these new situations withoutactually ever having attempted them previously.2. Comparison of stroke clusters The analysis was performed using log-linear procedures(Chi-Square Test) in the BMDP statistical program to determinewhether the pattern of the 2 x 4 (Distance by Direction)contingency table for EG was actually different from that of CG.A 2 x 2 x 4 (Group by Distance by Direction) contingency tablewas constructed for Tests 1 and 4 at Test Lie location 1, fromthe scatter plot graphs (see Figure 4.). This location wasselected as subjects showed most improvement over the testperiod at this postion, thus, if an analysis of results was toreveal a difference in the stroke pattern between the twogroups, it would occur here. The log linear procedure did notreveal a significant difference between the two group's strokeclusters, therefore, further analyses with remaining lielocations were not performed. Table 8 presents the pattern of4243Table 8.^Table of the Proportion of Stroke Clusters observed at Test Lie 1 for Test 4. only. Group^Distance^Direction^FrequencyShort/StraightRight Long/StraightLeft<30 ft. 29.6 22.2 33.3 14.8 27.0133>30 ft. 58.3 16.7 16.7 8.3 12.0Totals 38.5 20.5 28.2 12.8 39.0<30 ft. 23.1 53.8 7.7 15.4 13.0CG>30 ft. 72.4 10.3 10.3 6.9 29.0Totals 57.1 23.8 9.5 9.5 42.03 .rt •2.-^-r-.._A vivo^-1-7, -^I, •^, •^ 2 . 4_ reg El"ld ^ it'll' 17^ _ mil VW"^...,., AW" ,wir ^giforth,^elk AT"*A, ^ vosiv.w ...,wa. 1 AmillEW itlif—MIlICime...t■ ^lir-1.1-immil a.AILIIIIMIEIIIIKIIIIMINIMir pi 1 1 mit A ilMIAIFIa. `.../11=1Esc All___MIW 1011Mli1=1MT111 AINILIMMA MGM:i1V:11=1 411111. 111•1VIIIIIIMMIIIIIPIWill.•' I ENNUI Irosurale ..amonsimninMsawralaliventr!saw menu a= erg, E.......t....=.•"■■ ;11r-- 1.-"- TNT, wziparamilizzanifeaTimagniMIMI& `ININMIXIIWAIMMINEWNIUMSPBEILOWNIFAMI IlliligNELIMM.SIDIEMINSWARD'AMIIIIIMIIIIILIM:91M1 IIIIN11111111W110111111111PIRMINVAIRlb-11MMIONIIELIEEIIIRIIIMMILIIIIMILSENIIIIIMIIIMMIIIIINNISIMIIIIMICII•119VALWAHNIIIIMMIIONIIIMEBr"-ft.-MINIBMINIIIIIMINWRIFWIIHIMIL I IIIMMIMMIrmiang•IIMIN : : Aininialligliglir=i1INIZEMIIIMMIMEM.44CONT.,^.e41  N, Ar_i___.  •L.^i .ZiliillE11111`1'AMLIIIIME=4111h.""■101171111M_41%iiIIIII/WffifillIEIMINIMI Pr^_,■••■11Ir .J.W ^.......al iVIMINPIEN IN Ii1WWWIM■. A 411111MW AIWIL=AA wailli milm•ammm-wiiMM_MMIlaininsalwiare atimasuammtignalammsEzw-=:ezre gew.,- --=---...x-- -- -10--k-Kas ^ii.godWitekv, imirrimesimMattraWill OrrwallErrAlWaliaMARIFW1111111WWLISGIIMILIWWW2lElIWWWWWWWWILIL^A -mil WEISOIVOILW WWW/AWW111:WWILIIIM..11EMWANNWPIIIIIEWWWW11111111k11101Wililliallik..WIHISIEWWWWIEWAIWIIIIWWW0111WWWWW,Emiminognigr■vvIllIVARWINIIIIIIMIllk^-••••111.41015/ •1111111WWW1/ '''mlmooP111/48111111WWIWEIILPIU/^IMIr^-4MIABNIPIP- ^WIPP'''.^!,1 ^1^.1}^lilt.;IiitFigure 4.^Scatter Plot graph for both EG and CG from TestLie Location 1 over the four Tests.EXPT.i i^1 ,^.proportions in each cell with marginal frequency counts for test4 only, for both groups. Similar results, as expected fromhomogeneous groups, were obtained in the analysis of the Test1 results. The statistical result indicated that the associationbetween Distance and Direction (i.e., two-way marginal table)was significant, X (3) = 14.05, p < .01 (see Table 9). Thisindicates that the pattern of strokes, averaged over the twogroups, was not statistically independent of each other. This isapparent from the table which shows incongruency in cellproportions. However, a non-significant 3-way association(Group by Distance by Direction), X (3) = 2.41, p > .45, suggeststhat the pattern of the stroke clusters in terms of direction anddistance shown in the above 2-way interaction was similar forboth groups. That is, the EG and CG were both as likely to misstheir intended target to the left or right, short or long. Thisresult was further supported by a non-significant Group byDirection interaction, X = 5.72, p > .10, averaged over theDistance factor. Furthermore, although only part of the datawas actually analyzed, the resulting significant Group byDistance marginal interaction (Xt (1) = 12.16, p < .01) confirmedthe significant Practice Method main effect revealed by theANOVA results. That is, the EG strokes were more likely tofinish within 30 feet of the target (69 % or 27/39), in terms ofradial error, than were the strokes of the CG (31 % or 13/42).4546Table 9.^Chi Square Table with Partial and Marginal Association.Partial^MarginalEffect^d f f Prob. d f Prob.Direction 3 23.28Distance 1 0.01Group 1 0.11Dir x Dist 3 12.20 3 14.05 p<0.01Dir x Group 3 3.86 3 5.72 p>0.01Dist x Group 1 10.30 1 12.16 p<0.01Dir x Dis x Grp 3 2.41 p>.45From a coaching point of view, it is worth noting that themajority of strokes in this study were short of the targetbecause the majority of these strokes were mishit. A mishitoccurs when a stroke has not been contacted correctly by thegolf club and thus the ball travels a lesser distance thannormal. From the various lie locations in this study there is agreater likelihood of mishit strokes due to the unusual slope ofthe ground, uncharacteristic feet placement and uncertainty ofthe stroke. It is also worth noting that due to the nature of thelie the ball tends to fly, upon contact with the club face, withdifferent spin and therefore different direction. The coach orinstructor will find this information useful when deciding uponstrategies to play the course in terms of club selection and thelikelihood of achieving the desired outcome of the stroke.Qualitative Results The purpose of collecting this information was to monitorthe nature of the performers' thoughts during practice sessionsto determine if any evidence was available to confirm cognitiveactivity that reflected motor plan formation or action planreconstruction.Anecdotal Data The comments made by each subject in their SelfAnalysis Checklist and Report (SACR) were reviewed andcategorised into the five general golf performance areas ofAlignment, Distance, Swing Techniques, Position of Feet, and47General Comfort (Hogan, 1957). The information taken fromeach subject's SACR provided an insight into the processinvolved in the refining of the stroke mechanics (see Table.10).Control GroupThe limited comments from the CG were general innature. After session 3, at the end of the first week, the onlycomments made by the CG were concerned with matters ofalignment and swing techniques. The CG maintained the samethoughts throughout the study period. The CG were initiallyconcerned with a square aim and straight ball flight. Thecomments from the CG promptly decreased after the sixthpractice session when it became apparent that theirperformance and their comments had not really altered. Themain alignment comments suggested the great need to beaiming at the target prior to the start of the backswing. Swingtechnique comments were reminders to swing the golf clubhead towards the target in question. An analysis of the natureof the CG's comments revealed that they appear to have, at anearly time in the practice period, determined that the task didnot require a change from their current procedures. The CG'sSAR comments reflected the generation of performance related,cognitive activity during practice sessions 1 to 4, and anyaction plan reconstruction (Goode & Magi11,1986) that wasdeemed necessary appeared to be completed by the end ofpractice session 4. It is feasible to conclude that practices 548Table 10. Number of Comments in Categories from SelfAnalysis^Report.PracticeSessionNo. ofCommentsAlign. Dist. Swing FeetPos.Comfort1 Expt. *1 (48) 16 14 07 11 002 Expt. (39) 14 02 11 08 043 Expt. (37) 17 00 09 07 044 Expt. (36) 11 02 13 05 055 Expt. (26) 10 00 13 03 006 Expt. *2 (22) 09 00 07 06 007 Expt. (18) 09 00 02 07 008 Expt. (16) 09 00 04 03 009 Expt. (17) 10 00 05 02 001^Control *1 (38) 22 04 02 00 102 Control (26) 14 01 06 01 043^Control (24) 16 00 07 01 004 Control (13) 10 00 02 01 005^Control (13) 04 00 09 00 006 Control *2 (07) 05 00 02 00 007 Control (06) 03 00 03 00 008^Control (06) 04 00 02 00 009 Control (05) 04 00 01 00 00Sessions 10,11,12 no new comments. *1 = Test 1. 49through 12 were completed with little attention to the detailsof the swing, as all adjustments that the subjects felt wereneeded had been made.Experimental Group Prior to Test 2, comments were quite varied and generalin scope. The main focus for the EG appeared to be associatedwith stance alignment to the changing lies presented by thesimulator. Most subjects, it would appear, were unsure of howthe ball was going to fly from all the varying elevations as atotal of 27 comments reflected a concern with alignment andfoot position factors. The general alignment from each positionduring practice session 1, accounted for the majority (33%) ofinitial comments . 15% of comments were concerned with swingtechniques and 23% were concerned with where the ballposition should be in relation to their feet. The remainder ofcomments revealed feelings about both distance factors andcomfort feelings. Following each practice session the commentsbecame noticeably more focused on the mechanics of the actualstroke from each different lie. For example, several subjectscommented that the stroke was more successful when theirbody was angled at the same angle as the lie from which theywere attempting to play. The majority of SARs producedcomments that revealed a concern with remembering what andfocusing upon that which had been successful to them in priorsituations. After the fourth practice session thoughts50concerning feet position were seldom recorded. Most SARsindicated that the subjects had reached the conclusion thatuphill lies required the ball to be moved to the front of the feetand downhill lies had the ball placed back in the stance.Sessions 5 and 6, just prior to the second test, saw the subjectsprimarily focusing upon the correct alignment and swingtechnique. Comments that were used included "swing with theslope down the target line" and "do not always swing with thelie of the ground". Other swing technique centred commentswere "stay balanced and still over the ball", and "choke up anddown the clubs" were associated with the severity of lies.Alignment comments included such cue words as "aim left" fordownhill and "right" for uphill shots. Nearly 82% (39 of 48) ofall comments on sessions 5 and 6 were concerned withtechnique and alignment, a shift from 61% (98 of 160) insessions 1 through 4. The nature of the comments had shiftedfrom those expressing general concerns about all fiveperformance components to brief "cue words" specific to twotechnical components of performance, thus indicating that thesubjects' general movement experimentation had concludedand that they were selectively attending to factors associatedwith shot accuracy. There appears to be an association betweenthe reported thought patterns of the EG and their improvementin the Test performance.51After six practice sessions the EGs' comments werebecoming more concentrated on two key areas (swingtechnique, alignment). It appears that after six or sevenpractice sessions the EG's^reconstruction plans wererepresentative of the motor stage as they appeared to bebecoming less concerned with the general actions of themovements and were consciously focusing on fewerperformance factors. The EG had formulated a motor planbut were required to briefly attend to the movement becauseof the continuously changing lies.52CHAPTER IVSUMMARYSchmidt's Variability of Practice Hypothesis states thatwithin a class of movements, the more varied the practice orprevious experiences, the better performance would be on anovel task.This field based study was conducted in order todetermine the effects of the variability of practice, (specificallyvarying the initial conditions), on the accuracy of the approachshot in golf. Two groups took part in the study, an experimentalgroup which practiced from a Golf Course Lie Simulator andexperienced a different lie for each trial, and a control groupwhich practiced from a flat driving range surface andexperienced the same lie on each trial. Each group hit 360 ballsover the course of 12 practice sessions.The criterion Test for each of the 27 subjects involvedplaying approach shots toward an actual golf hole to a target120 yards away. The 18 test strokes were made up of threerotations of one ball from each of the six Test Lie locations.There were four tests throughout the course of the six weekstudy.From the results it appears that the subjects whoparticipated in the variable practice schedule were able to53transfer more effectively to the actual golfcourse test situation,than those whose schedule consisted of constant practice froma more traditional flat surface.The EG, which participated within a random variablepractice schedule, significantly improved approach shotaccuracy on the golf course over a six week period, hitting 360golf balls from a variety of lies from the Golf Course LieSimulator. This improvement held for all Test Lie locationspresented by the criterion test.As the study did not provide formal instruction orteacher generated feedback of any kind, all subjects wererequired to monitor and regulate their own performance. Inorder to ensure that the self guided development of strokeproduction was within an acceptable performance framework,the use of a Self Analysis Checklist Report was incorporated.This checklist presented the key fundamentals of the golfswing in sequential order and was reported on by each subjectafter every practice session.Each subject's Self Analysis Checklist Report (SACR)represented a chronicling of personal anecdotal data whichsummarized their after practice thoughts throughout the study.These data were scrutinized in terms of a stroke productionvocabulary and then categorized in terms of the fivefundamental golf performance components (Hogan, 1957)54which provide a basis for determining the correctness of amovement.The qualitative results gained from the SACR suggestedthat the EG were involved actively in an action planreconstruction stage well through the practice sessions as thevarying lies and changing locations during practice appeared tohave generated a considerable amount of cognitive activity. AsLee and Magill (1983) suggested, this active processing isprimarily to reconstruct an action plan on the next trial for aparticular variation, because the action plan developed for theprevious trial of that skill is partially or completely forgotten.This pattern continued for most of the practice sessionsalthough laterly the EG were becoming less concerned with thegeneral actions of the movements and were consciouslyfocusing on fewer performance factors.The CG maintained the same thoughts throughout thestudy period. The comments from the CG ceased after the sixthpractice session when it became apparent that both theirperformance and their comments showed minimal change. TheSACR comments reflected the generation of performancerelated cognitive activity during practice sessions 1 to 4, butany action plan reconstruction that was deemed necessaryappeared to be completed by the end of practice session 4.From a coaching point of view the results indicate theneed for a more ecologically valid practice routine. Both the55schedule and the amount of practice should be emphasized tocreate a more effective and game like practice plan whichshould reflect the nature of the task that the practice wasdesigned for.A practice session which deals with sidehill severepositions and variations of all other types of lies (as with the EGin this study) would better prepare players for the demands ofthe eventual game (or criterion test in this study). In golfseldom are shots from varying lies practiced, generally theyare confronted in the game itself for the first time. A variedpractice schedule would allow performers to attempt these newsituations without actually ever having attempted thempreviously. As was seen, more variation in practice by changingthe initial conditions of each trial, permitted an enhanceddegree of transfer to the game or criterion task. As Schmidt(1975) suggested " increased amount and variability (ofpractice) will lead to the development of an increasingly strongrecall schema, so that when the subject is transferred to anovel situation governed by the schema, he will be able todetermine more effectively the appropriate responsespecifications, given the desired outcome and the initialconditions".The Variability of Practice Hypothesis has been testedwhilst manipulating the initial conditions of practice. Variablepractice in this practical field study found definite support for56Schmidt's Hypothesis. From a practical point of view the resultsfrom this study illustrate the benefits of variable practice in apractice schedule. The Variability of Practice Hypothesis shouldbe used as a guideline to structure practice. This will lead tomore effective practice and thus improved performance in thecriterion situation.Recommendations1. The first recommendation would be to increase the lengthof the study from six to ten weeks with follow up retentiontrials to be conducted to better assess the permanence oflearning.2. Increasing the number of subjects would give greatervalidity to the results, however, practically it may not berealistic to expect so many golfers to forego playing over theextended duration of the study.3. The addition of a random practice group and a no practicegroup would be useful to permit a comparison with the existinggroups.4. Future studies may want to use the same methodologybut increase the distance of the criterion task. A situationwhere two clubs could be incorporated into the practicesessions could yet further relate practice to the actual game.5.^It is important to have the subject groups ashomogeneous as possible and this may not always be true57when handicaps are the criterion for group selection. The pre-test should dictate the composition of the groups.6. The use of video analysis would provide another datasource that would permit a more specific analysis of the natureof the changes in stroke mechanics which occurred duringpractice.7. Have all subjects practice off the same simulator surfaceto account for Hawthornes effect. The control group wouldpractice with the simulator in a horizontal position.8.^The criterion test should include a position outside therange of positions practiced by the experimental group.58REFERENCES: Adams, J. A. (1971). A closed loop theory of motor learning.Journal of Motor Behavior, 3, 111-150.Bartlett, F. C. (1932). 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A study of control skills in an industrialtask and in a simulation using the verbal protocoltechnique. Ergonomics, 24 (4), 401-404.Valverde, H. H. (1973). A review of flight simulator transfer oftraining studies. Human Factors, 15, 510-523.Vernon, D.^(1987).^An analysis of the InternationalWindsurfing Sailing School's simulators.  Unpublishedmajor paper, University of British Columbia, Vancouver,B.C.Weeks, D. L., & Shea, C. H. (1984). Assimilation effects incoincident timing responses in open environments.Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport,  55, 89-92.67Weitz, J. , & Adler, L. S. (1973). The optimal use of simulation.Journal of Applied Psychology, 58  (2), 219-224.Wrisberg, C. A. , & Liu, Z. (1991). The effect of contextualvariety on the practice relation and transfer of an appliedmotor skill. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 6 2(4), 406-412.6869Appendix 1.^Golf Course Lie Simulator- design andconstruction details.A portable, aluminum GCLS provides a golf practicedevice for use in simulating all typical uneven lies from whicha golfer may hit practice shots. The practice platform, whenhorizontal, is located 12 inches above ground level in order topermit the tilting of the surface to simulate any reasonablecourse lie desired. The platform's base is adapted to providestability and houses two hydraulic jacks which are manipulatedto create the desired slope.^The hydraulic jacks are selfcontained and operate with a valve which is closed when thedesired lie position has been found. Hydraulics were used sothat stability of the GCLS was ensured. The device weighsapproximately 150 lbs, and is 52 inches X 52 inches square.Diagrams: 4' 4.IL 1V:7 172Appendix 2.^Typical Par 5 hole73Appendix 3.^Self Analysis Checklist_ Grips dub in neutral position(Vs in grip pointing to rear of thin)— Feet shoulder width apart— Weight evenly distributed— Foot alignment square to target line— Hips square to target line— Shoulders square to target line— Posture with flat back and eyes CIVCI.hands— Weight forward, midstep to balls of for— Ball position with icons: near centerof Man= with woods: target side ofcenter— Blade of dub square to targetBadawNq— Arms, hands, and dub swing back asunit— Weight shifts to rear (target kneetouches rear knee).^ Wrists cocked at hip levelHips turn to rear (belt budde back)Backswing length 5— Heel of target foot off ground slighth.Hands over rear shoulder in full turn— Club parallel to ground— Basic to targetForwardinsing— Weight shifts to target side— Target heel down— Target bares toward target- Kw' return to square— Anna, hands, dub swing down— Wrists a:mocked at hip level— Arms, dub, hands to:tended at con-tact with ban— Rear knee turns towards target knee— Swing continues smoothly; wrists re- _ Forwardswing length 5cock at hip level— Chest to targetFlips face target^ —Weight on target side (rear kneetouches target knee)Arms, hands, dub continue— Holds position at end to check forhands are higher than targetbalance .shoulder


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