The effects of fatigue on decision making and shooting skill performance in water polo players

Full text for this resource is not available from the Research Repository.

Royal, KA, Farrow, Damian ORCID: 0000-0002-5020-7910, Mujika, I, Halson, S, Pyne, David ORCID: 0000-0003-1555-5079 and Abernethy, B (2006) The effects of fatigue on decision making and shooting skill performance in water polo players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24 (8). pp. 807-815. ISSN 0264-0414


The aim of this study was to assess the effects of fatigue on decision making and goal shooting skill in water polo. Fourteen junior elite male players (age 17.2 ± 0.5 years; mass 84.2 ± 7.6 kg; height 1.85 ± 0.05 m) completed four sets of eight repetitions of an approximately 18 s maximal water polo specific drill. Progressively declining rest ratios for each successive set of the drill were employed to induce increasing fatigue and reflect the demands of match-play. A video-based temporally occluded decision-making task (verbalized response to various tactical situations) or goal shooting skill test (qualitative and quantitative analysis of goal shooting) was performed after each set. Heart rate, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and blood lactate concentration were recorded. Heart rate (159 ± 12, 168 ± 13, 176 ± 12, 181 ± 12 Deats min−1; P < 0.001) and RPE (13.1 ± 2.2, 15.5 ± 1.7, 17.3 ± 1.6, 19.1 ± 1.1; P < 0.001) increased with declining rest ratios. At very high fatigue, decision-making accuracy was 18.0 ± 21.8% better than at low fatigue (P = 0.008). Shooting accuracy and velocity were unaffected by incremental fatigue; however, skill proficiency (technique) decreased by 43 ± 24% between the pre-test and high-fatigue conditions (P < 0.001). In conclusion, incremental increases in fatigue differentially influenced decision making (improved) relative to the technical performance (declined), accuracy and speed of the ball (unchanged) of a water polo goal shot.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/02640410500188928
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Keywords ResPubID22122. decision making, technical skill, fatigue, arousal, water polo, goal shooting, male athletes
Citations in Scopus 166 - View on Scopus
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login