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Article

Relationship between Cognitive Functions and Sport-Specific Physical Performance in Youth Volleyball Players

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
2
IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Obesity Unit and Laboratory of Nutrition and Obesity Research, Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, 20149 Milano, Italy
3
Department of Computer Science, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
4
Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences (DBSV), University of Insubria, 21100 Varese, Italy
5
IRCCS Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, 20121 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michelle Ploughman
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(2), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020227
Received: 7 December 2020 / Revised: 20 January 2021 / Accepted: 6 February 2021 / Published: 12 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Brain Function—Series II)
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between basic cognitive functions and sport-specific physical performance in young volleyball players. Forty-three female volleyball players (age 11.2 ± 0.8 years) were tested for cognitive performance by measuring simple reaction time (clinical reaction time), executive control (Flanker task), and perceptual speed (visual search task). Moreover, a set of tests was used to assess physical abilities as volleyball-specific skills (accuracy of setting, passing, and serving) and motor skills (change of direction, vertical jump, and balance). A cumulated value for both cognitive and sport-specific physical performance tests was computed by adding up each test’s domain outcomes. Pearson’s r correlation analysis showed a large positive correlation (r = 0.45, d-value = 1.01) of the cumulated score summarizing cognitive functions with the cumulated score summarizing sport-specific physical performance. Moreover, small-to-medium correlations (d-value from 0.63 to 0.73) were found between cognitive and motor skills. Given the cumulative scores, these results suggest that volleyball athletes with superior basic cognitive functions present better sport-specific physical performance. Our findings encourage to extend the knowledge of the associations between cognitive and motor skills within a sports performance context. View Full-Text
Keywords: young athletes; cognition; team sports; sport-specific skills; motor skills; executive functions young athletes; cognition; team sports; sport-specific skills; motor skills; executive functions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Trecroci, A.; Duca, M.; Cavaggioni, L.; Rossi, A.; Scurati, R.; Longo, S.; Merati, G.; Alberti, G.; Formenti, D. Relationship between Cognitive Functions and Sport-Specific Physical Performance in Youth Volleyball Players. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 227. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020227

AMA Style

Trecroci A, Duca M, Cavaggioni L, Rossi A, Scurati R, Longo S, Merati G, Alberti G, Formenti D. Relationship between Cognitive Functions and Sport-Specific Physical Performance in Youth Volleyball Players. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(2):227. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020227

Chicago/Turabian Style

Trecroci, Athos, Marco Duca, Luca Cavaggioni, Alessio Rossi, Raffaele Scurati, Stefano Longo, Giampiero Merati, Giampietro Alberti, and Damiano Formenti. 2021. "Relationship between Cognitive Functions and Sport-Specific Physical Performance in Youth Volleyball Players" Brain Sciences 11, no. 2: 227. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020227

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