Aune, T. K., Ettema, G., Ingvaldsen, R. P., & Whiting, H. T. (2001). The effect of physical fatigue on motor control and coordination in a multi-joint timing task. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 1221.

This investigation explored the effect of fatigue on motor coordination, and strategies to compensate for fatigue in a multi-joint movement. Ss were highly experienced and recreational table tennis players. The task was to make an attacking forehand drive at a scaled target on the opposite side of the net. Movements were analyzed in fresh and fatigued states.

With the onset of fatigue, the experienced players altered their technique by changing stroke velocity and introducing modifying intersegmental sequencing (reduced position variability, increased pattern rigidity, and altered relative timing). Recreational players did not refine their movement patterns causing outcomes to decline. Large alterations in angle joints and combining of movement segments were evidenced.

Although movement patterns changed, expert players still achieved the accuracy that governed the quality of their response. Recreational players did not do that. Both groups did not perform in the most efficient manner possible in fatigue, but the alterations produced by the experts did maintain functionality.

Implication. Expert table tennis players alter their playing techniques when fatigued but still maintain the desired outcome. The alterations exhibited by recreational players reduced their effectiveness.

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