Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine


Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 8 - 14
Research article
Temporal Dynamics of Acrobatic Activity: An Approach of Elite Athletes Specious Present
Denis Hauw1,, Marc Durand2

1 University of Montpellier 1, Montpellier, France
2 Université de Genève, Genève, Switzerland

Denis Hauw
✉ EA 4206: Addictive, Performance and Health Behaviours. University of Montpellier 1, UFRSTAPS, 700 avenue du Pic Saint Loup, 34090 Montpellier, France

14-12-2006 -- Accepted: 24-09-2007 --
Published (online): 01-03-2008


The present study examined how “meaningful time ”is constructed and used during acrobatic performance. To do so, six elite athletes (2 tumblers, 2 trampolinists, 2 acrobatic skiers) performed the same acrobatic move within the context of their respective sports. Their activity was described step-by-step using the data obtained from self- confrontation interviews linked to behaviour analysis based on video recordings. The descriptions, which identified the actions, feelings and thoughts of the athletes in relation to the unfolding time of their performance, were then compared. The results demonstrated that acrobatic performance can be divided into different periods that delineate meaningful time. Differences were observed in how the athletes organized activity (e.g. cognitive, physical) according to the specific sport. The results were interpreted as specific ways to use flight time.

Key words: Activity, meaningful time, situated cognition, acrobatic performance
Key Points
Elite acrobatic athletes’ activities organize the unfolding of the performance by progressively informing the performers about the state of the evolving situation.
The complexity of the activity involved for such acrobatic performances is reduced by a process of timed and situated organization.
Athletes’ activity consisted to display different jigs corresponding to a meaningful delineate specious present for efficient performance.



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