The influence of skill in gymnastics and vision on dynamic balance

Shannon Robertson, Digby Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In this study, the Authors examined the importance of vision in dynamic balance at different stages of learning. Nine expert and 9 novice gymnasts were required to cross a balance beam as quickly as possible with full vision, with no vision and with vision placed 15° to the right and left. Expert gymnasts performed equally well in the full vision and no vision situation, but their performance deteriorated when vision was displaced. Form errors were more pronounced in all three of the visually-degraded conditions. Novice gymnasts were adversely affected by both the elimination of vision and displacement. This was true for both the movement time and the form errors. These findings create problems for models of motor learning that posit a progression from closed-loop to open-loop control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-368
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Balance
  • Expertise
  • Gymnastics
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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