Title

Me or We? The Effect of Team and Individual Sports Activity on Executive Functioning

Submitter and Co-author information

Alexander I. McKenzie, University of WindsorFollow

Standing

Graduate (Masters)

Type of Proposal

Poster Presentation

Challenges Theme

Open Challenge

Your Location

Windsor, Ontario

Faculty

Faculty of Human Kinetics

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Nancy McNevin

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Executive Function (EF) is an umbrella term for a set of mental skills that develop across childhood and adolescence, enabling us to accomplish tasks and goals, particularly in sport-specific settings (Best, 2010). There is limited research examining the processes by which open/closed motor skill sports optimize EFs. The present study analyzed the effects of motor sequencing (i.e., open motor skill) and repetitive movement (i.e., closed motor skill) in individual and team sports and their influence on EFs. 40 University students aged 17-29 were randomly assigned to a team and individual sports-specific intervention focused on either repetitive or variable motor sequential movement. To assess EF pre and post-intervention, a cognitive battery was administered to measure working memory, cognitive flexibility, and planning and problem solving; all of which are fundamental EFs (Diamond & Lee, 2011). It was predicted that participants in the variable motor sequencing and team condition would yield superior EF performance.

Results suggested a significant interaction effect of sex and type of sport (individual/team) on EF measures, as females and males performed significantly different on a team relative to the individual conditions. For performance on intervention, an overall main effect of type of sport was found, such that participants in the team conditions finished faster on the sports task relative to the individual conditions. There was also a significant main effect of sex, as males generally outperformed female participants. These findings have implications for optimizing athletic and EF performance between sexes and type of sport.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Me or We? The Effect of Team and Individual Sports Activity on Executive Functioning

Executive Function (EF) is an umbrella term for a set of mental skills that develop across childhood and adolescence, enabling us to accomplish tasks and goals, particularly in sport-specific settings (Best, 2010). There is limited research examining the processes by which open/closed motor skill sports optimize EFs. The present study analyzed the effects of motor sequencing (i.e., open motor skill) and repetitive movement (i.e., closed motor skill) in individual and team sports and their influence on EFs. 40 University students aged 17-29 were randomly assigned to a team and individual sports-specific intervention focused on either repetitive or variable motor sequential movement. To assess EF pre and post-intervention, a cognitive battery was administered to measure working memory, cognitive flexibility, and planning and problem solving; all of which are fundamental EFs (Diamond & Lee, 2011). It was predicted that participants in the variable motor sequencing and team condition would yield superior EF performance.

Results suggested a significant interaction effect of sex and type of sport (individual/team) on EF measures, as females and males performed significantly different on a team relative to the individual conditions. For performance on intervention, an overall main effect of type of sport was found, such that participants in the team conditions finished faster on the sports task relative to the individual conditions. There was also a significant main effect of sex, as males generally outperformed female participants. These findings have implications for optimizing athletic and EF performance between sexes and type of sport.