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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Jun 17

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12145-0


lingua: Inglese

Effects of visual training on motor performance in young tennis players using FitLight Trainer

Fabio FORNI 1 , Emanuele FARININI 2, Riccardo LEARDI 2, Andrea RINALDO 1

1 Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 2 Department of Pharmacy, University of Genova, Genova, Italy


BACKGROUND: Tennis is an open-skill sport in which the athletes have a short period of time to elaborate all the information coming from the surrounding environment and produce a motor answer based on them. The aim of this study was divided in two hypotheses: (1) to assess if belonging to a certain category, athlete or non-athlete, older or younger, can affect the development of reaction time on children and (2) if a protocol based on visual training (VT) of 6 weeks could improve the motor performance on the field in young tennis players using FitLight Trainer.
METHODS: In this evidence a group of young children (N=40) have been tested on light board through reaction test then some young tennis players (N=15, age: 7-12 years old) were taken as reference for the second hypothesis. They were divided in two groups: 7 of them were in the group Under-10 (U10) while 8 in a second group (U12). They performed a VT protocol once a week for at least 40 minutes for 6 weeks. They were tested at baseline (T0) and follow-up (T6) to evaluate the reaction time, time in specific lateral shift and precision about forehand and backhand.
RESULTS: The development of reaction time of the athletes is principally caused by their growth (p<0.05). Principal components analysis (PCA) showed significant improvements in the Under-10 category in all of the tests while in the Under-12 category not every individual showed a significant result in terms of performance.
CONCLUSIONS: The developing of reaction time and coordination eye-hand is mainly due to the growth of young athletes. Also, performing a 6-week VT using FitLight Trainer is possible improve the reaction time and the motor performance on the field especially in young tennis players under 10 years old.

KEY WORDS: Tennis; FitLight Trainer; Cognitive training; Visual training

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