Take Home Points
Motor skills are vital aspects of many sports. Baseball pitching, swimming, diving, and other highly skilled sports require precise motor skills, making precise practice essential for elite performance.
In this study, the skill gain during training on a rowing simulator transferred to the gained skills to rowing on water. These were compared to skill gains through rowing training on water. Only the basic functions of the simulator were used: realistic rendering visual, auditory, and haptic interactions in a virtual environment. The interactions with the virtual environment were supported through results from a questionnaire and by similarities in biomechanical performance measures between rowing on water and rowing in the simulator.
Skill gains in the simulator are expected to become crucial when feedback is added. Feedback should be a main focus for future studies on the simulator. The study also showed that the applied rendering addressed the key features of rowing. Visual, auditory, and haptic display require modulation in order to identify their impact on skill gains. A cost-effective but still training-efficient training device could be developed filling the gap between high-end simulators as presented here and rowing ergometers. However, proper motor skills training without a stimulator is likely ideal, when available. Future training programs can incorporate simulators when training is limited or unavailable.
- Todorov E, Shadmehr R, Bizzi E. Augmented feedback presented in a virtual environment accelerates learning of a difficult motor task. Journal of Motor Behavior. 1997 29: 147–158.
- Rauter G, Sigrist R, Koch C, Crivelli F, van Raai M, Riener R, Wolf P. Transfer of complex skill learning from virtual to real rowing. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 20;8