Pacing Strategy in Schoolchildren Differs With Age and Cognitive Development

Micklewright, Dominic, Angus, Caroline, Suddaby, Jane, St Clair Gibson, Alan, Sandercock, Gavin and Chinnasamy, Camilla (2012) Pacing Strategy in Schoolchildren Differs With Age and Cognitive Development. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44 (2). pp. 362-369. ISSN 0195-9131

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Purpose: To examine differences in pacing strategy between schoolchildren of different age, gender and stage of cognitive development.

Methods: Schoolchildren (n=106) from four age groups (5-6 yrs, 8-9 yrs, 11-12 yrs and 14 yrs) participated in this study. Each schoolchild completed four conservation tasks to evaluate their Piagetian stage of cognitive development. Each schoolchild then performed a best-effort running task on a 150-m running track that was videoed to analyse pace at 5% increments. The length of the run was varied for each age group to ensure that all schoolchildren were running for approximately 4 minutes (5-6 yrs = 450 m, 8-9 yrs = 600 m, 11-12 yrs = 750 m and 14 yrs = 900 m).

Results: Differences in pacing strategy were found between schoolchildren of different age (P<0.0001), gender (P<0.0001) and cognitive development (P<0.0001). Pacing differences were also found between age groups after controlling for cognitive development (P<0.001), between cognitive abilities after controlling for age (P<0.01), and between genders after controlling for both age (P<0.0001) and cognitive ability (P<0.0001).

Conclusions: Younger schoolchildren with less advanced cognitive development exhibited a negative pacing strategy indicating an inability to anticipate exercise demand. Older schoolchildren at a more advanced stage of cognitive development exhibited a more conservative U-shaped pacing strategy characterised by faster running speeds during the first 15% and last 20% of the run. Anticipatory pacing strategy appears to be related to both the age and cognitive development of schoolchildren.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 15:29

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