The Effect of Training with Standard, Non-standard and Combined Ball on Learning of Volleyball Service: Testing the Specificity of Practice Hypothesis

Oral Presentation
Paper ID : 1217-12THCONG
Oral / Poster Presentation File: 12THCONG-1217.mp4 
1Motor behavior, sport Science Faculty, Arak University, Arak, Iran.
2Sports Psychology, sport Science Faculty, Arak University, Arak, Iran.
One of the most important findings in learning research is the "specificity effect". This suggests that performance in test conditions has the highest probability of being optimized if test conditions are similar to the conditions in which a skill was practiced. The term with close meaning to specificity effect in the context of motor control is "specificity of practice". In this regard, one of the features that has not been considered so far is the training ball characteristics. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of training with standard, non-standard and combined ball on learning of volleyball service skill.
For this purpose, 45 participants were selected through purposeful sampling. Then, using pre-test scores, they were divided into three identical 15-person groups including standard ball training group, non-standard ball training group and training group with both balls. The groups were trained for 5 weeks, 15 sessions, performing 10 services each session. Then, retention and transfer tests were performed after one week.
The results of repeated measures ANOVA showed that all groups had significant improvement from pre-test to retention and transfer test (P≤0.05). Also, one-way ANOVA results in retention test showed that the group trained with standard ball had significantly higher scores than non-standard ball group (P = 0.032) and combined training group (P = 0.008). In the transfer test (Test with standard ball), the performance of the training group with non-standard ball was decreased (P = 0.013). However, the performance of the training group with standard and combined training group had no significant change (P > 0.05).
It seems that the specificity of specificity hypothesis also applies in relation to the characteristics of the ball. Therefore, it is recommended to use the same ball in training conditions as the test conditions.