A study into the effect of 6 weeks balance exercise program on shooting accuracy

A study into the effect of 6 weeks balance exercise program on shooting accuracy

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

Precision rifle shooting is a sports task which involves play of the participant in terms of shooting accuracy, precision, speed, vision and proprioception. The primary variable which determines the success in this sport is shooting result, which is indirectly based on shooting accuracy. In order to improve shooting accuracy, many primitive methods are identified which include task intrinsic feedback relating to movement pattern and performance goal however they were always researched as incomplete evidences of feedback. Research studies have identified that there are various training programs designed in order to improve the skills of shooters especially in terms of shooting accuracy (Schmidt and Young, 1991). The common training programs which were identified in the past include knowledge of performance, improvement of motor skills, improvement in speed according to identified relapse and psychomotor exercises such as improvement of postural balance and rifle stability. As a part of continued research in this element, the present research study aims at identifying the effect of balance exercises on shooter performance in terms of accuracy. The common balance exercises which are performed to improve results are noted and discussed in the conclusion appropriately.

1.2 Research purpose and rationale of the present study

Primary investigation revealed that although many studies were performed to examine the effect of motor skills and exercises on shooting accuracy, not much has been done or reported regarding the effect of balanced exercises.

There are a few reports which identified the expected changes due to balance exercises but no appropriate evidence has been identified. Maintaining a proper balance in physical activity is important in attaining success in physical activity. Balance exercises targeting over the limbs and other parts of the body help in improving the athletes and sports personnel to a considerable extent. Enhancing balance can improve the performance in different sport activities like tennis, badminton, golf and wresting. However, the effect of the exercises on shooting is yet to be studied which could serve as the cutting edge for achieving success in shooting. The rationale of the present study is therefore to identify and investigate the extent of effect of these balance exercises on accuracy of shooting.

1.3 Aims and objectives of the research

The objectives of the present research can be contextualized as below:

To determine the variables which affect the accuracy in shooting.
To investigate whether there is any influence of balance exercises on shooting accuracy.
To test the affect of balance exercises on shooting accuracy of players through a six week program.

1.4Research structure

The structure of the dissertation would be designed as follows:

Chapter 1: Introduction section which launches the background of research to the reader, the objective of the present research work and methods intended to gather results and draw active conclusions accordingly.

Chapter 2: Literature review section which details past research and the ideas of researchers relevant to the present topic.

Chapter 3: Research methodology section where all the details relating to the design and technique of research work are discussed in detail.

Chapter 4: Analysis and discussion section which gathers the reports from observations.

Chapter 5: Conclusion where the results of discussion are presented along with summary of the entire research. Recommendations are also included for further research in the chosen area of interest.

2. Literature Review

The secondary data collection methods resulted in a collection of many relevant articles suitable to the title. However, careful analysis revealed that little research has been conducted in the past relating to the chosen research objective. As a result, all the grounded theories which influence the research study have been collected and presented in this section.

Balance Training Exercises in Improving Muscle Power and overall performance

A study by International Shooting Sport Federation outlined the importance of balance training exercises and indicated that successful training in competitive sports enable one to achieve the best results. According to this study, the training exercises assist in increasing muscle power and strength and thereby the accuracy and overall performance (International Shooting Sport Federation, 1999). Mononen focused on investigating the effects of knowledge of performance (KP) on motor skill learning within the scenario of precision rifle shooting (Mononen et al., 2003). This study demonstrated the fact of augmented feedback, described as an essential aspect of shooting performance. It is beneficial for the performance and learning of precision shooting. Auditory KP (of around 50%) appeared to promote shooting performance amongst the inexperienced shooters. Use of auditory feedback promoted shooter’s self-initiated error detection and correction abilities by directing the attention to critical components of psychomotor control.

Balance Training Exercises in improving Biomechanics and Neuromuscular Abilities

Numerous research studies have suggested that, shooting is a motor task that demands perceptual motor attributes, together with efficient postural stability and a high level of eye-hand co-ordination (Ball et al., 2003; Mononen et al., 2003). Research study by Myer et al.in 2005, explored the significance of neuromuscular training in improving shooting performance and lower extremity biomechanics. The underlying hypothesis was that considerable improvements in measures of performance will be demonstrated concomitant with the enhanced performance measures linked to anterior cruciate ligament injury risk (Myer et al., 2005). The findings of this study indicated that, training assists in decreasing knee valgus (around 28%) and varus torques (38%). Although, the results of this study effectively supported the hypothesis of improved biomechanics and performance measures, the confinement to female athletes caused considerable limitations.

Significance of Augmented Feedback and Knowledge Performance in Precision Shooting

In the study by Kontinnen et al. (2002), inexperienced shooters were offered either KP or other balance training exercises during an eight week training period. The subjects with auditory-visual KP on rifle movement enhanced their shooting accuracy and also indicated greater improvement in postural stability and rifle hold, when compared with the other tested groups. Although the use of concurrent feedback has shown to possess strong performance enhancing effects when it is available during practice, the benefits in performance have found to disappear when the feedback was removed in retention and other transfer tests. Use of concurrent feedback in directing the learner’s attention away from the critical task intrinsic feedback was also explored within the study by Vander et al. in 1993. With respect to complex motor activities, a number of different studies have found that, balance training exercises and learning of a skill like cycling, dancing and swimming are enhanced when the feedback is offered. These research studies indicated that, augmented feedback training in real time situations possess powerful effects on performance in certain sport tasks like shooting.

3. Research Methodology

3.1 Research design

In the present analysis, the main focus is given to the relationship of balance exercises on the accuracy of shooting in terms of improvement in sight of target, shooting distance and time taken to capture the target. The research design is a visual comparison study between two cross sectional team of chosen players in terms of accuracy. A mixed methodology will therefore be performed which includes qualitative observation and quantitative analysis to report the results of the study.

In the present study, twenty players will be chosen after obtaining a written consent of participation in the test. A shooting accuracy test is performed on all the players and the results are noted. The group of shooters is then divided in to ten each. One of the groups is exposed to normal training techniques and other is given balanced exercise program in addition to normal training techniques. The activity is carried out for six weeks and the accuracy tests are repeated on both the groups separately. The average accuracy is extracted and certain mathematical and statistical procedures are undertaken to analyse the results and display the conclusions.

3.2 Data collection methods and tools

As a part of the research process, various qualitative and quantitative tools are recruited. The data collection techniques recruited in the present study includes concepts of grounded research, narrative collection and ethnography. The data collection modes include conducting interviews to interpret participant observation, gathering questionnaires, recording responses using scientific instruments, reflective field notes and accompanying observations (Marshall et al., 1988).

3.3 Sampling

Prior to conducting the experiment, appropriate sampling techniques should be conducted to include participant shooters of varied origin. The concepts of ideal sampling like simple and stratified sampling should be taken in to account along with choosing the sample proportional to the probability of results expected. The marked conditions of sample size, effect size, and statistical power ratio (Clegg, 1989) should also be noted and explained during analysis to avoid bias of sampling on interpretation of results.

3.4 Analysis of gathered data

It is often observed that researchers cannot identify all practical solutions to the intended research design. It is common that supplementary research questions and observations are added to the original work depending upon the need at the time of data analysis. The collection process is a self explanatory procedure which is designed and tailor made according to research objective. Use of unstructured interviews, open ended questionnaires and simple statistical tools will be accommodated in the present research. Content analysis technique is followed as per the principles of Krippendorff (2004) which outlines the analysis in classification of important objects, assigning codes to the primary objects and secondary objects separately, categorising the responses in terms of the objects accordingly and combining the responses to generate the final conclusion.

In addition, many quantitative statistical techniques are used as a part of the research study which includes mean, median, mode and ANNOVA to interpret the results of the individuals in a group.

4. Ethical considerations:

In any research work, permission from the ethical committee to carry out the intended research as per the framed methodology is vital. In due regards to the context, numerous ethical protections have been framed by the research establishments in order to protect the rights of participating players. The ethical considerations which need to be looked after as per the present research include:

Governing all the conditions required to explain the participants about the method and intension of study along with assurance of no complications to the participants. A written consent form signed by the participating player in the presence of researcher is a necessary formality in this regards to obtain permission from the committee before the research process is initiated.
Explanation and written note of all the shielding factors which may pose hindrance to the research work should be notified to the participants and the committee. These factors may sometimes cause threat to the participants and notification of dangers involved and intimation of the methods taken to avoid uncertain circumstances must be made in advance for the ethical committee to approve.
5. Research Limitations

Any research work is coupled with certain limitations which hinder the active progress of the research work.

In the present study, the research limitations can be attributed to the following:

Time constrain is the major factor as the research methodology necessitates active participation of the players. Adhering to the proposed timings hence is the major key factor for progress of the research work which would otherwise delay the analysis of results.
The research proposal intends to incur utilisation of funds and certain gigantic resources and manpower which might pose certain issues in the progress of research.
The research work demands for study of underlying literature related to the study and gathering appropriate literature as per the demand of the study is a gigantic task.

6.Time Plan

The research project is intended to be carried out over a stretch of period, including the study observation of over 6 weeks during which results from the participants are analysed.

The scheduled plan is represented in the form of Gantt chart below which shows the progress from proposal submission to the submission of final dissertation.


Proposal Submission

Literature Review

Research Process Design

Data Collection

Analysis of gathered data

Preparation of draft dissertation

Editing Draft as per comments

Dissertation Submission

7. References

Ball, K., Best, R., Wrigley, T. 2003. Inter and Intra individual analysis in elite sports: Pistol Shooting, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 19, 4, 28-378.

Clegg, F. 1989. Simple statistics, Cambridge: Cambridge University press.

International Shooting Sport Federation, 2012, Competitive Sport Shooting: Practical Sport Psychology, [online] < http://www.bullseyepistol.com/issfbook.pdf>, [Accessed on 18 April 2012]

Kontinnen, N., Lyytinen, H., Vitasalo, J. 1998. Rifle Balancing in Precision Shooting: Behavioural Aspects and Psychological Implications. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 8, 78-83.

Marshall, Catherine & Rossman, Gretchen B. 1998. Designing Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Mononen, K. 2007. The effects of Augmented feedback on Motor Skill Learning in Shooting. Studies in Sport, Physical Education and Health, 122, 3, 31-40.

Myer, D., Ford, K., Palumbo, P., Hewett, E. 2005. Neuromuscular Training Improves Performance and Lower Extremity Biomechanics in Female Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19, 1, 51-60.

Schmidt, R.A and Young, D.E. 1991. Methodology for motor learning. A Paradigm for kinematic feedback. Journal of Motor behaviour, 23, 13-24.