Does an eye-hand coordination test have added value as part of talent identification in table tennis? A validity and reproducibility study
SourcePLoS One, 9, 1, (2014), article e85657
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
This study investigated the added value, i.e. discriminative and concurrent validity and reproducibility, of an eye-hand coordination test relevant to table tennis as part of talent identification. Forty-three table tennis players (7-12 years) from national (n = 13), regional (n = 11) and local training centres (n = 19) participated. During the eye-hand coordination test, children needed to throw a ball against a vertical positioned table tennis table with one hand and to catch the ball correctly with the other hand as frequently as possible in 30 seconds. Four different test versions were assessed varying the distance to the table (1 or 2 meter) and using a tennis or table tennis ball. 'Within session' reproducibility was estimated for the two attempts of the initial tests and ten youngsters were retested after 4 weeks to estimate 'between sessions' reproducibility. Validity analyses using age as covariate showed that players from the national and regional centres scored significantly higher than players from the local centre in all test versions (p<0.05). The tests at 1 meter demonstrated better discriminative ability than those at 2 meter. While all tests but one had a positive significant association with competition outcome, which were corrected for age influences, the version with a table tennis ball at 1 meter showed the highest association (r = 0.54; p = 0.001). Differences between the first and second attempts were comparable for all test versions (between -8 and +7 repetitions) with ICC's ranging from 0.72 to 0.87. The smallest differences were found for the test with a table tennis ball at 1 meter (between -3 and +3 repetitions). Best test version as part of talent identification appears to be the version with a table tennis ball at 1 meter regarding the psychometric characteristics evaluated. Longitudinal studies are necessary to evaluate the predictive value of this test.
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