Elite athletes' differentiated action in trampolining: a qualitative and situated analysis of different levels of performance using retrospective interviews

Percept Mot Skills. 2004 Jun;98(3 Pt 2):1139-52. doi: 10.2466/pms.98.3c.1139-1152.


Using a situated cognition approach, this study analyzed elite athletes' actions, i.e., behaviors link to cognitions, during competitive trampoline performances, which are evaluated from a succession of 10 acrobatic movements characterized by flight time and fall risk. 27 exercises performed by 10 elite athletes were ranked poor, average, or good and analyzed. Self-confrontation interviews were conducted and transcribed in relation with behavioral descriptions derived from video recordings. Qualitative analysis was performed to identify units of meaningful action and their components. The succession of units describing the stream of actions was used to identify differentiated organization of trampolinists' performances. Three patterns, corresponding to performance levels, were distinguished by (a) an increasing number of meaningful actions occurring at the same time, (b) a reduction in actions of waiting, and (c) the emergence of new actions aimed at interaction with the situation. These results suggest that differentiation in performance level is linked with meaningful actions modified through interaction with the context.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Competitive Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sports / statistics & numerical data*
  • Videotape Recording