Motor Behavior Final Project
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Motor Behavior Final Project






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  • Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, My name is Robert Goldkranz and I will be discussing with my audience, the athletic director of a High School, the knowledge and experience I could bring to their Ice Hockey team which will greatly benefit their student athletes for success on and off the ice. I will introduce the importance of certain aspects that can have positive and/or negative effects, if not understood through the study of motor control and learning. Further more, from a theoretical perspective, I will provide vital information containing techniques in the explosive tool, the slap shot, which all though can be inaccurate has the desired velocity to allow a higher rate of success for the high school ice hockey team.
  • Throughout the presentation, I will cover the important aspects of motor control and learning that are reflected on the results of an athlete’s performance of a Ice Hockey Slap Shot. The information provided in the history, the visual and vestibular system, Fitt’s law relative to speed and accuracy, the learning process of part-to-whole transfer, the feedback the athlete receives, and the mental practice that can be used on and off the ice. The ability to dissect this performance through learning will allow the ability to correct the errors that exist and enhance the ability to use the slap shot effectively.
  • Although there is no significant evidence of how the creation of the game of hockey came about, the majority believe that it evolved from the European game of Field Hockey, which was brought to Canada from European soldiers and immigrants. The game evolved into Ice Hockey to adapt to the cold weather in Canada.From there the first indoor game would be played in Montreal on March 3rd, 1875 between James Creighton and McGill University.In 1910 the National Hockey Association was formed to create an organized professional hockey league that consisted of three periods, each having 20 minutes in them as well as minor and major penalties. Seven years later the NHL would be created to re-organize the game and expanded into the United States in 1924.The Hockey Slap Shot was invented by Montreal Canadians player Bernard “Boom Boom” Geoffrion who got his nickname from sportswriter Charlie Boire for the loud sound the puck made off the boards after Geoffrion took a slap shot. Bernard practiced the slap shot behind a church everyday, when he was around ten years old. His stats are evidence of how affective his slap shot was.Around the start 1960’s to present day hockey sticks have went through a process of different materials to ensure a quality stick for speed, power, and accuracy. These materials consist of wood, aluminum, graphite, and fiberglass/composite. The players knowing the history of origin of what it is they participate in will not only cognitively expand their mind outside and inside of the game of hockey but will allow the student athletes to excel through interest.
  • The visual and vestibular systems both have significant information that relates to the quality of balance. The vestibular system contributes to equilibrium by sending information to the brain to orient a person’s body in space as well as influences direct and indirect information on the extensor muscles to allow a person to be upright and have the capability to have reflexive control of balance if something were to interfere. The vestibular ocular reflex stabilizing the eyes when the head moves allows the quality of vision to contribute to the feedforward function which prepares the motor system before the actual movement is being done. This helps players prepare the proper information needed to balance on ice.Hand-eye coordination and reaction time go hand in hand, anatomically the vestibular ocular reflex is shutoff allowing the smooth pursuit movement of visual system to track slow moving objects. The time-to-contact information in the visual system plays a significant role in hand-eye coordination and reaction time because it connects the ability of movement to intercept a moving object with the ability to process a number of movement variables such as distance and velocity. The accuracy of prediction the player has is measured by the existing knowledge of the movement situation.
  • The type of balance used in taking a slap shot is called Dynamic Balance which is the movement of a individual’s body mass while maintaining their balance. Balance is the most important asset in playing ice hockey and is needed to perform a slap shot. Without balance very little or nothing will be achieved. Balance is the structure to all the movements in ice hockey.The slap shot requires balance in order to slow down or stop after being in full stride skating to set up a starting point. Shoulders must be square in the transitions of a slap shot. This could be difficult due to the movement and transfer of weight from one foot to another while being on the ice so balance is key.The significance of balance being so important I will be concentrating on exercise’s associated with balance with the athletes. A article in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance showed that through exercise of strength of the abdominal/oblique muscles and flexibility throughout the body using materials such as the stability ball will increase balance. The ability to create better balance has said to be beneficial to the elderly with less falling. These exercise’s will be a long term positive effect for the athletes.
  • Hand-eye coordination, also a significant factor in the slap shot, it is needed to hit the puck sufficiently on the sweet spot of the blade.The more coordinated a player striking the puck, the more accurate the shot is going to be.The the amount of contact that is caught by the blade of the stick will determine the elevation of the puck. This will also contribute to accuracy as to where a player may want his target to go higher or lower.Studies in the journal called Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers show that a lack of sleep will contribute to impairment of hand-eye coordination, which is why I wood influence players to get a goodnight’s rest after a practice or before a game.Drills will be organized to practice specific hand-eye coordination exercise’s to help ensure a quality slap shot.
  • Reaction time is another important component relative to a slap shot and the game of ice hockey.One-timer slap shots are very common throughout a hockey game. A “one-timer” is a puck that is passed to a teammate who already has a mind set of initiating a slap shot off of the feed of the pass. Reaction time is needed by the teammate attempting the take the slap shot with a combination of hand-eye coordination to make it successful.Reaction time can also be used during the attempt of a slap shot to avoid an opponent hitting you or blocking the shot. I will give strategies based on reaction time to guide the players on decision making. Defensively, players protecting themselves against high velocity pucks allows reaction time to become an element of safety.Reaction time can be used as a strategy for a player taking a slap shot on a goalie. Goalies tend to have “weak spots” due to a slow reaction time. These would be the spots I would have players shoot for accuracy.In the same study published by the journal called Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers the lack of sleep also contributed to the impairment of reaction time, which would continue influence players to get a goodnight’s rest after a practice or before a game.
  • The famous research, Paul Fitts has a relative significance to the slap shot. Paul Fitts theory expressed an indirect relation to speed and accuracy, which holds true, as a hockey slap shot gives off great speed of the puck to the target but a lack of accuracy.In a journal written by Patrick Magee through a popular hockey school, McGill University, he related Fitts’ Law to the hockey slap shot stating that the speed of a slap shot is compromised for a more accurate shot and the accuracy of a slap shot will be compromised when increasing the speed of a slap shot. Enhancement of velocity of these new hockey sticks can aid the speed tradeoff for accuracy. Studies in another journal called The Development of Human Intelligence revealed that younger student athletes are more likely to choose speed over accuracy when learning a task.Two men by the name of David E. Calapp and Michael Bennett invented the popular composite hockey stick, which is used by both professional athletes and youth athletes, creates an increase in velocity caused by the flexibility of the material, as studies show in the Sports Journal by David Laliberte.
  • There are two kinds of learning that I would used to perform the slap shot depending on the players. Different variables such as some high school hockey players being more advanced then others and the way an athlete learns the skill are important factors.Whole learning is when a athlete who learns how to performs a skill fully and fluently without having to break it the skill into fragments.This would be considered a more efficient learning method for skills with a high degree of interaction and integration among components which was studied and backed up by Robert Christina and company in the article Retention and Transfer of Motor Skills: A Review for the Practitioner. A hockey slap shot would fit the type of skill that would be relevant to this theory.It was mentioned in the journal,Educational Technology Research and Development that an athlete with a higher level of prior knowledge would influence whole learning. Athlete’s could find part-to-whole learning to easy because of their higher level of prior knowledge and could force them to loose motivation.The article, Retention and Transfer of Motor Skills: A Review for the Practitioner also explains the Principal of Specificity of Training, that states if a skill is to be performed at a certain speed, then it should be practice at that speed. Part-to-whole learning does not allow similar speed to be used during the break down of the task. Only after when the parts are completed substituted into a whole task can the normal speed be applied. Part-to-whole learning is the process of teaching a athlete a skill through broken down steps to progress into the whole task.It was discussed in the Descriptive Analysis of Coach Augmented Feedback Given to High School Varsity Female Volleyball Players of the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education that part-to-whole learning is usually used for more complex skills. How complex a skill actually is depends on the learner. A slap shot can very well be successfully used in this learning style. Part-to-whole learning can be an alternative to teaching athletes who have tried whole learning and are having trouble. Part-to-whole practice being similar can be used after the whole learning process to help athletes find their own errors through augmented feedback. I would introduce the players to the whole learning process, using the method of having the part-to-whole learning process as an alternative.Here is a quick video of Angie Schneider the director of the Youth Hockey Foundation of Austin, who instructs a learner by the name of Jim on a proper way to execute a slap shot.
  • Feedback is the most effective way to decrease error while executing any kind of skill. It provides athletes and learners with an evaluation on what was done correct and incorrect with the ability to fix their errors. It could also be consider a great motivator for athletes who want to achieve success.In the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education research stated successful coaches gave more feedback in areas of audio, immediate terminal, corrective, whole and part movement. Not many coaches are aware of how important feedback is to their athletes. As coaches it is our duty to give a good amount of quality feedback.The feedback I will provide will cover all aspects of the slap shot that I have provided in this presentation for you here today, including feedback on the health resistance of nutrition and lack of sleep if it crosses my attention.
  • The practice of imagery is a controversial one among coaches and practioners. It is a method for acquiring, rehearsing, or enhancing a physical skill in the absence of actually performing the movement. The definition, which was provided by Thomas Whetstone, who did research on the subject expressed positive results in the Journal of Industrial Teacher Education.Studies showed an effectiveness on target sport tasks relevant to that of a hockey slap shot.He discussed how effective imagery could be to places who require some sort of motor task but can have a low budget that reflects the lack of facilities. There is no money, environment, or schedule needed to process your cognitive mind.The results expressed an increase in self-awareness which a great characteristic to have in the game of hockey.The ability to have imagery practice will exercise the cognitive process towards not only thoughts in general but the thought process that goes into the skill.Imagery practice is just one of the many learning processes, I look to include in teaching the high school hockey players how to perform a successful slap shot. This form of practice will allow the players to be able to practice the whole process of taking a slap shot and controlling the accuracy of the puck with in their mind, through their follow through. All together it will prepare the players before an actual practice on how its going be executed properly.
  • The five key points of balance, hand-eye coordination, reaction time, speed and accuracy, and proper feedback provided by the proper learning processes will be involved in accomplishing the skill of the Ice Hockey Slap Shot. Through my thorough research, own personal experience and knowledge, I believe I could establish a successful Ice Hockey Club. Concentrating on each component of the slap shot will create not only an enhancement of performance in the skill but an advantage to student athletes in hockey games and overall wellness of health.

Motor Behavior Final Project Motor Behavior Final Project Presentation Transcript

  • The Slap Shotand the impact it has on the game of Ice Hockey
    Robert W. Goldkranz
    Dr. Hurley: EXS 297 Spring 2011
  • Overview
    Brief History
    Visual and Vestibular System
    Fitts’ Law
    Learning the Motor Skill
    Mental Practice
  • Evolved from European Field Hockey(Wikipedia)
    First Indoor Game was played in Montreal on March 3rd, 1875(Wikipedia)
    NHA was formed in 1910 to structure professional hockey(Wikipedia)
    Bernard “Boom Boom” Geoffrion invented the Slap Shot when he was ten years old.(Shea, Kevin, 2002)
    The evolution of Hockey stick performance started in the 1960’s(Wikipedia)
    History of Hockey and the Slap Shot
  • Visual and Vestibular System
    The interconnectedness of the visual and vestibular systems is demonstrated by the vestibular ocular reflex, which functions to stabilize the eyes when the head moves.(Rose, Debra J.; Christina, Robert W., 2006)
    Hand-Eye Coordination
    Reaction Time
  • Balance
    • A significant quality of balance is needed to skate on ice.
    • Balance is the key to controlling all other aspects of the skill of ice hockey.
    • A slap shot is taken in stride with skating, balance is needed to slow down and keep shoulders square to execute the slap shot.
    • Associating balance activities in proper exercise programs by concentrating on strength and flexibility.(Claxton, David B.; Troy, Maridy; Durpree, Sarah, 2006)
    • Creating good balance will benefit for student athletes later down the road.(Claxton, David B.; Troy, Maridy; Durpree, Sarah, 2006)
  • Hand-Eye
    • Hand-eye coordination is required to hit the puck with the stick accurately.
    • The more coordinated a player is with the impact of the stick to puck the more accurate the shot will be.
    • How the puck is struck also contributes to the elevation of the puck.
    • Lack of sleep leads to impaired hand-eye coordination.(Scarpello, Gary, 2010)
    • Significant to shooting a slap shot, it is best to concentrate on hand-eye coordination exercise’s.
  • Reaction Time
    • One-timer slap shots
    • Avoiding hits and blocked shots
    • Getting out of the way of a 70mile an hour slap shot.
    • Strategy of slap shot against weakness areas of goalies reaction time.
    • Lack of sleep leads to impaired reaction time.(Scarpello, Gary, 2010)
  • Fitts’ Law
    Speed of a slap shot is compromised for a more accurate shot on the target. (Magee, Patrick M., 2009)
    Accuracy of a slap shot is compromised when increasing speed of the shot.(Magee, Patrick M., 2009)
    Studies show student athletes depending on age will choose speed over accuracy.(Sternberg, Robert J.,1979)
    New trends contributed through technology of composite hockey sticks invented by David E. Calapp and Michael Bennett(CIPO,2011) can resolve this problem.(Laliberte, David J., 2009)
    MT= a + b log2(2A/W + c)(Gokturk, Mehmet, 2008)
    Famous researcher, Paul Fitts theorized a mathematical expression of an indirect relationship between speed and accuracy.(Gokturk, Mehmet, 2008)
  • Learning the Motor Skill
    Whole Learning
    More efficient for skills with high degree of interaction and integration among components.(Fischman, M.; Christina, R.; Vercruyssen, M., 1981)
    A higher level of prior knowledge of the skill would influence this process.(Lim, J.; Reiser, R.; Olina, Z., 2009)
    Principal of Specificity of Training(Fischman, M.; Christina, R.; Vercruyssen, M., 1981)
    Part-to-Whole Learning
    Used for more complex skills(Markland, R.; Martinek, T., 1988)
    Alternative for learners having trouble through whole transfer learning.
    Ice Hockey Slap Shot Video
  • Feedback
    Coach’s Success
    Audio Feedback
    Immediate Terminal Feedback
    Corrective Feedback
    Whole Movement Feedback
    Part Movement Feedback
    (Markland, R.; Martinek, T., 1988)
    Information arising as a consequence of performance, which is important to skill learning by providing athletes with performance analysis of what they did right and wrong and can even serve as a motivator.(Christina, R.; Rose, D., 2009)
  • Mental Practice
    A method for acquiring, rehearsing, or enhancing a physical skill in the absence of actually performing the movement.(Whetstone, T, 1995)
    • Studies show effectiveness of target sport tasks such as a slap shot.(Whetstone, T., 1995)
    • Allows athletes to practice with lack of budget for facilities.(Whetstone, T., 1995)
    • Increases self-awareness relevant to the game.(Whetstone, T., 1995)
    • Exercise's the cognitive process of the skill.
  • Summary
    Hand-Eye Coordination
    Reaction Time
    Speed and Accuracy
    Feedback provided by proper learning process
    Successful Future:
    As a unique and effective coach, concentration on key components of the Ice Hockey Slap Shot will bring an advantage to the High School Hockey Club.
  • References
    Canadian Intellectual Property Office, NA, ND, Canadian Patent Database, Retrieved March 11th, 2011 from
    Christina, Robert W.; Rose, Debra J., (2009) Motor Behavior: Custom Ed. For SUNY Cortland. Taken from: A Multilevel Approach to the Study of Motor Control and Learning, (2nd ed.) Pearson Custom Publishing.
    Christina, Robert W.; Fischman, Mark G.; Vercruyssen, Max J., (1981), Retention and Transfer of Motor Skills: A Review for the Practitioner, Quest, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p181-94, 14pp.
    Claxton, David B.; Dupree, Sarah; Troy, Maridy, (March, 2006), A Question of Balance, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (JOPHERD), Vol. 77 Issue 3, p32-37, 6pp.
    Gokturk, Mehmet, (2008), Fitts' Law,, Retrieved April 10th, 2011 from
    Laliberte, David J., (2009), Biomechanics of Ice Hockey Slap Shots: Which stick is the best?, The Sports Journal, Vol. 12 Issue 1.
    Lim, Jung; Olina, Zane; Reiser, Robert A., (January, 2009), The Effects of Part-Task and Whole-Task Instructional Approaches on Acquisition and Transfer of a Complex Cognitive Skill, Educational Technology Research and Development, Vol. 57 Issue 1, p61-77, 17pp.
    Magee, Patrick M., (2009), Whole-body predictors of wrist shot accuracy in ice hockey: A kinematic analysis by way of motion capture, McGill University, p30.
  • Continued References
    Markland, Regina; Martinek, Thomas J., (1988), Descriptive Analysis of Coach Augmented Feedback Given to High School Varsity Female Volleyball Players, Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p289-301, 13pp.
    Scarpello, Gary, (February, 2010), Lack of Sleep Could be Trouble for CTE Students, Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers, Vol. 85 Issue 2, p8-9, 2pp.
    Schneider, Angie, (April, 2009), How to Perform a Slap Shot Video: Presented by Live Strong,, Retrieved April 15, 2011 from
    Shea, Kevin, (2003), One on one with Bernard Geoffrion, Legends of Hockey, Retrieved March 11th, 2011 from
    Sternberg, Robert J., (April, 1979), The Development of Human Intelligence. Technical Report No. 4. Cognitive Development Series, National Science Foundation, p32, 1pp.
    Whetstone, Thomas S., (1995), Enhancing Psychomotor Skill Development Through the Use of Mental Practice, Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, Vol. 32 Issue 4.
    Wikipedia, NA, ND, History of Ice Hockey, Retrieved March 11th, 2011 from
    Wikipedia, NA, ND, History of the Ice Hockey Stick, Retrieved March 11th, 2011 from