Throwing Kinematics and Children's Abilities in the Imaginary Ball Situation
Capucilli, Peter S.
A preliminary study conducted by Rieser et al. (2005) found a discrepancy in the technique three to five year old children use when throwing a tangible ball vs. pretending to throw an imaginary ball at targets varying in distance. In the real situation, children release with the appropriate technical motion expected for each distance. With a pretend ball, children failed to vary the kinematics of their throws in ways that reflected the need to throw to further and further away targets. This disparity is not observed in adults. Observations were conducted under randomized distance trials where children threw three throws at four distances. The current study examined if blocking for distance (repetitive throwing trials at each distance) serves as a possible means to reduce young children's failure in the pretend condition. Results indicated that children's success in the imaginary situation correlated with increased age and blocking for distance.