Analysis Of Attention, Eye-Hand Coordination And Reaction Time Of Young Soccer Players

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the skills that will positively influence child

Keywords: “Young,” “soccer,” “attention,” “eye-hand coordination,” “reaction time”

Introduction

Attention, concentration, eye-hand coordination and reaction time are considered to be integral

basics of sports. The attention-grabbing physical and mental characteristics of human nature have been

included in the sports literature as general information, particularly in research articles that analyse how

much various activities done for a certain period of time affect them (Bańkosz, Nawara, & Ociepa, 2013,

Boot et all. 2008 Crawford, Medendrop & Marotta, 2004, Ederman, Murray, Mayer &Sagendorf, 2004,

Göral, Saygın & İrez, 2012).

Attention is the conscious or unconscious focus of perception on a certain object, action, activity,

situation, event or phenomenon, which determines the quality of decision-making and performance

(Schefke, & Gronek, 2010). Attention and concentration are among the important factors for athletic

performance in sports. Some changes are observed in people who focus their psychological and physical

energy on a single point. Sense organs focus on the people, objects or events in question so as not to miss

any details. In addition to the sense organs, athletes’ bodies also adjust (Özerkan, 2004).

Visual motor coordination is defined as receiving visual stimuli and generating appropriate motor

answers with mind-body coordination. This is known as eye-hand coordination. The visual-motor

coordination skills include: walking, running, jumping, climbing, cooking, dressing, undressing,

buttoning, washing hands and face, brushing teeth, cycling, driving, using computer, coloring, reading-

writing and using scissors. In addition, they play a significant role in self-sufficiency and successful

school and social life. The development of visual motor coordination in children starts with directing

towards various objects within their visual field and using their body and hands (Ercan &Aral, 2011).

Athletes should have high physiological and motor performance for success in sports. Particularly

for football players, it will provide an advantage if the events are arranged in advance and they make a

move before their opponents. One of the parameters that will allow them to gain advantage is their

reaction time. Reaction time refers to the time that passes from between receiving a sudden and non-

prefigured signal to responding to this signal. The stimuli can be auditory, visual or tactile (Göral, Saygın

& İrez, 2012).

This study evaluates the skills considered to have positive effects on both child development and

sportive performance such as attention, eye-hand coordination and reaction time of young competitor

(CP) and non-competitor (NCP) football players..

Problem Statement

Examination of skills, such as attention, eye-hand coordination and reaction time in competitors

and non-competitor soccer players will provide information for coaches to plan and organize training

program..

Research Questions

Is there any difference between competitor and non-competitor soccer players in attention, eye-

hand coordination and reaction time?.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of present study was to evaluate the skills that will positively influence child

development, such as attention, eye-hand coordination and reaction time, among young competitors and

non-competitor soccer players..

Research Methods

Participants

The study was conducted with 26 ten- to twelve-year-old football players, 13 non-competitor

football players training twice a week at Antalyaspor Lara Football School and 13 competitor football

players playing for Laraspor Football Club. The licensed football players who competed for Lara Sports

Club were included in the competitor group, and the non-licensed players who attended the football

school, but did not compete, were included in the non-competitor group.

Methods

The assessments were made at the Laraspor Football Club. The attention, eye-hand coordination

and reaction time tests were administered to both groups in the meeting area in the training ground.

Cognitrone Attention-Concentration Test (COG); Cognitrone is a general ability test that assess

attention and concentration among the Vienna test system batteries. It requires noticing the similarities

between constantly changing figures within the tests’ integrity and reacting rapidly and correctly.

Participants are asked to compare the figures on the screen and make a decision about their similarities.

Four different figures are displayed on the upper part of the screen, and one figure is displayed on the

lower part. Participants are asked to press the green button on the panel with their right hands when they

understand that the figure on the lower part matches with the figure on the upper part; or otherwise, to

press the red button. The total duration of the test is 15 to 20 minutes (Psikotek Consulting, 2012).

Eye-Hand Coordination Assessment; Eye-hand coordination was assessed using the Two Arm

Coordination Test. This test was done using the Lafayette Instrument Two-Arm Coordination Tester

Model 32532A and the Lafayette Instrument Silent Impulse Counter Model 58024C (Lafayette, 2004).

This test assesses the participants’ two eye-hand coordination by tracking the star on the test device using

a metal pointer with both hands clockwise and counter-clockwise. Whenever the participants deviate from

the trace they should track, the stimulant counter records it (Green,1996).

Reaction Time Suite; Reaction time was assessed using the Reaction Time Suite together with the

ProComp Infinity device and Biograph Infinity software. Visual and auditory reaction times were

assessed using computers. In single assessment, the computer sends a single stimulant (visual or

auditory), and the participants react to this stimulant by pressing the button as quickly as they can. If the

participants do not answer a stimulant or give their answer in the wrong order, this counts as an error

(Thought Technology, 2012).

The statistical analysis of the data was done using SPSS and Excel (Analyses Tool Pack) software.

First, the data were subjected to descriptive statistics. The normal distribution criteria were determined

using the Shapiro-Wilk test since the sample size was under 50. The independent samples t test was used

for normally distributed variables, and the Mann-Whitney U test was used for non-normally distributed

variables during the comparison of competitor and non-competitor groups. Results are shown as mean ±

SD, and for all comparisons p <.05 was considered significant.

Findings

A total of 26 football players (13 competitors and 13 non-competitors) from the Laraspor Football

Club and Antalyaspor Lara Football Academia voluntarily participated in the study with their families’

permission.

The Cognitrone Test, a computer-based attention test, as well as the Reaction time Test through

the Reaction Time Suite and Lafayette Two Arm Coordination Test were administered to the participants.

The competitor group was significantly older than the non-competitor group (p<0.05).

Figure 1: Table 01. Attention test values of competitor and non-competitor soccer players who participated
Table 01. Attention test values of competitor and non-competitor soccer players who participated
See Full Size >

No significant difference was found between CP and NCP sum of and mean time of correct

reactions, the sum of correct rejections and sum of misses (p>0.05). A statistically significant difference

was found between the competitor and non-competitor groups in terms of the mean time of correct

rejections (CP=2.52±0.68 sec, NCP=3.26±0.67 sec) (p<0.05).

The competitor group showed significantly shorter mean times of correct rejections than the non-

competitor group. A statistically significant difference was found between the groups in terms of the

working time (total processing time) (t=-2,78, p=.01). The competitor group obtained a better mean score

on the Cognitrone Test than the non-competitor group in terms of the working time (CP=142.62±38.09

sec, NCP=181.85±33.72 sec).

The reaction time of the competitor and non-competitor groups were assessed using the ProComp

Infinity device and Biograph Infinity software, as well as the Reaction Time Suite. Table 02. shows the

reaction time results of the competitor and non-competitor football players.

Figure 2: Table 02. Reaction times values of competitor and non-competitor soccer players who participated in the study.
Table 02. Reaction times values of competitor and non-competitor soccer players who participated in the study.
See Full Size >

No statistically significant difference was found between the competitor and non-competitor

groups for recessive hand reaction time (Z=1.808, p=0.07), recessive success rate (Z=0.070, p=0.94) and

dominant success rate (Z=1.808, p=0.071) (p>0.05). The two groups obtained similar values in these

variables. The dominant hand reaction time of the competitor group (243.39±28.41 msec) was statistically

significantly lower than that of the non-competitor group (279.79±33.90 msec) [t=2.80, p=0.01]. The

dominant hand success rate was also found to be statistically significantly higher in the competitor group

(90.31%) than in the non-competitor group (79.72%). No statistically significant difference was found

between the recessive hand reaction times of the groups [Z=1.808, p=0.071] (p>0.05). The competitor

group obtained better scores in dominant reaction time than the non-competitor group.

The eye-hand coordination of the participants was assessed using the Lafayette Instrument Two-

Arm Coordination Tester Model 32532A.

Figure 3: Eye-hand coordination values of competitor and non-competitor soccer players who participated in the study.
Eye-hand coordination values of competitor and non-competitor soccer players who participated in the study.
See Full Size >

Conclusion

Attention, coordination and reaction time, parts human nature, are cognitive and mental processes

used in every sphere of life. These characteristics are complex in terms of their process and results in both

cognitive and behavioural aspects. Success in physical and mental terms is needed in every kind of sports.

Sports include movement and activity, and therefore is directly related to attention, coordination and

reaction time, the subjects of this study. In addition, ability in these factors will possibly have positive

effects on the quality of physical appropriateness factors as well as psychological factors.

The football players’ attention variables were assessed using the Cognitrone Test, and a

statistically significant difference was found between the two groups for only the mean time of correct

rejections and working time. The competitor football players had better decision-making times than the

non-competitor football players in the attention test.

The results of competitor and non-competitor football players in recessive hand reaction times and

dominant and recessive hand success percentage were similar, and the differences between the groups

were not statistically significant. A statistically significant difference was found between the dominant

hand reaction times of the two groups. The competitor football players had a better reaction time.

No study was found in the literature that compares competitor and non-competitor football players

in this age group in terms of these variables. This section refers to different studies in the literature.

Bayar and Koruç (1992) assessed the reaction time and eye-hand coordination of the students in

summer sports school at the 19 Mayıs Sports Site who were born between 1977 and 1982 and observed

that female students born in 1982 had a shorter reaction time than male students at the same age.

However, males’ reaction times shortened and females’ reaction times lengthened as they got older

(Boyar, 2013).

A study that aimed to determine the light (visual) reaction times of male football players aged

between 9 and 14 found that a football training program provided for 16 weeks positively affected

children’s light (visual) reaction time (Boyar, 2013).

Marancı (1999) conducted a study with amateur football players and found that the reaction times

to a visual stimulant were 470 msec for goalkeepers, 530 msec for defensive players, 510 msec for

midfield players and 490 msec for strikers. Their reaction times to an auditory stimulant were 397 msec

for goalkeepers, 490 msec for defensive players, 430 msec for midfield players and 420 msec for strikers

(Marancı, 1999).

No significant difference was found between the competitor and non-competitor football players

for the clockwise time, counter-clockwise time, number of clockwise and counter-clockwise error

variables. The football players in both groups obtained very similar results in eye-hand coordination.

In conclusion, this study found that the attention and the dominant hand reaction time were

different between competitor and non-competitor trained male football players aged between 10 and 12,

and that being a competitor or non-competitor did not affect their eye-hand coordination. It can be

concluded that similar trainings of the competitor and non-competitor football players led these groups to

show no difference.

Attention, reaction time and coordination are important variables that create the difference

between successful and unsuccessful players in football. Therefore, trainers and physical educators should

use the attention, coordination and reaction time exercises starting at an early age to stimulate these

athletic skill

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Publication Date

18 December 2019

eBook ISBN

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Sports, sport science, physical education

Cite this article as:

Aktop, A., Kuzu, O., & Çetin, E. (2019). Analysis Of Attention, Eye-Hand Coordination And Reaction Time Of Young Soccer Players. In E. Lupu, G. Niculescu, & E. Sabău (Eds.), Sport, Education & Psychology - icSEP 2017, vol 24. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 13-19). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.06.2