2010, Volume 6, Issue 2

Psychomotor aspects of talent identification: a new approach in the case of fencing

Zbigniew Borysiuk1, Wojciech J. Cynarski2

1Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Opole University of Technology, Poland
2Faculty of Physical Education, University of Rzeszów, Poland

Author for correspondence: Zbigniew Borysiuk; Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Opole University of Technology, Poland; email: z.borysiuk[at]po.opole.pl

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The problem of talent identification in fencing can be analyzed using the existing theoretical models of sport selection and talent development. The research was based on extensive studies of fencers at the introductory and specialist training stages. The conclusions were supported with experts’ observations of the combat technique of advanced fencers at the championship level. The impact of formerly emphasized somatic and psycho-physiological factors on the level of sport mastery in fencing was sidelined in favor of psycho-motor factors. The latter, especially choice reaction time and spatial anticipation, are considered to be the major predictors of talent in fencing. The application of the novice-expert paradigm allowed assessment of developments of these traits as well as correlations between the information processing speed and the motor phase of sensorimotor responses. A significant reduction of decision-making time in complex motor tasks was observed in expert fencers. Following opinions of the leading fencing coaches, reaction time should be treated as a significant factor of effectiveness of learning complex motor habits and their successful implementation in sport combat.

Key words: anticipation reactions, movement time, reaction time, talent in fencing