Changes in Hand Dribbing Resulting From Instruction in Preschoolers

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Exhibit Hall RC Poster Sessions (Tampa Convention Center)
Jacqueline D. Goodway and Irmak Hurmeric, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Purpose: Dribbling is a common fundamental motor skill for which there is little empirical evidence to guide the instructional process. This study examined the effects of a 120-minutes of dribbling instruction on the dribbling skills of young children. Methods: Participants (N=122) consisted of preschool children who were identified as at-risk of educational failure and/or developmental delay (M=54 mo) in a Motor Instruction (MI, n=65) and Comparison (C, n=57) group. All participants were evaluated using the dribbling criteria (0-8 points) from the Test of Gross Motor Development 2 (Ulrich, 2000) prior to and following the instructional period. The MI group received 12, 10-min sessions of dribbling instruction as part of a 12-week, 1080 min. motor skill program. The dribbling instruction consisted of an array of instructional tasks with a variety of developmentally appropriate equipment. Tasks, equipment and feedback were individualized to meet the learner's developmental status. Analysis/Results: An ANOVA with repeated measures found a significant Group X Time interaction (F[1,118]=170.24, p<.001, h2=.59) but no significant differences (p=.26) for the Group X Time X Sex interaction. Overall, the MI group had better dribbling skills than the C group from pre-to-posttest. In order to examine what critical elements changed, chi square analyses assessed differences in the distribution of dribbling critical elements between the MI and C groups. As predicted, at the pretest there were no significant differences in the distribution of scores for the four critical elements between the MI and C group. However, at the posttest there were significant differences between the MI and C group for the distribution of scores for the following critical elements: hip height ball (p=<.001); fingertip control (p=<.001); ball on preferred side (p=<.001); and ball bounced four times (p=<.001). Conclusions: It is clear that dribbling skills improved as a result of instruction and the MI group was significantly different than the C group in all four post-dribbling critical elements. These data have implications to teaching dribbling to preschool children who are at-risk.