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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
Print version ISSN 1517-8692
LOUREIRO JR., Luiz de França Bahia and FREITAS, Paulo Barbosa de. Influence of the performance level in badminton players in neuromotor aspects during a target-pointing task. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2012, vol.18, n.3, pp. 203-207. ISSN 1517-8692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922012000300014.
Badminton is a racket sport where athletes have to accurately react to powerful and rapid strokes from their opponents. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate whether expert badminton players (members of the national team) would present better indices of neuromuscular performance than intermediate level badminton players in a target-pointing task. Twelve expert badminton players (EPG), who currently play or have already played for the Brazilian national team, and 12 intermediate-level players (IPG) participated in the study. The standing participant was instructed to press a switch placed in front of him and at his midline with the tip of the index finger and touch a target displayed in a touch screen located in front of him as soon as this target was lighted. The target was shown either ipsi- or contralateral to the dominant upper limb and either in blocks (simple reaction time - SRT) or randomly (choice reaction time - CRT). The dependent variables reaction time (RT), movement time (MT), and radial error (RE) were calculated. The results revealed no effect of group on MT and RE, but revealed that RT was shorter for EPG than for IPG. Moreover, RT was lower in SRT than in CRT condition and RT and MT was lower when the target was ipsilaterally presented and during STR condition. The shorter RT presented by expert badminton players when compared to intermediate level players could indicate that RT could be a key neuromuscular variable to distinguish expert from non-expert badminton players. Finally, although the experimental protocol does not integrally represent the actions performed during the game, it is a progress when compared to the tests commonly used to investigate the response time (RT and MT) in athletes, and should be used to assess those neuromuscular variables in athletes of sports that use the upper extremity.
Keywords : reaction time; movement time; accuracy; racket; upper extremity.