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How do aerial freestyler skiers land on their feet? A situated analysis of athletes' activity related to new forms of acrobatic performance
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Based on the course-of-action theory, the present study performed a situated analysis of the activity of three elite aerial freestyle skiers. Data were collected during the 2006 Olympic season by observation, videotaping and self-confrontation interviews to retrospectively build the athletes' activity. The analysis identified elementary units of action, thought, and feelings and described the relationships among the units during each leap. Comparisons of the different courses of action revealed six typical sequences of elite aerial freestyle skiers' activity: (a) pick up speed in the descent, (b) manage the curve of the tremplin, (c) take-off, (d) manage the exit of the tremplin, (e) perform rotations, and (f) organize the landing. This study revealed the dynamic and situated property of acrobatic activity. As the leap unfolded, the athletes step-by-step enhanced their knowledge of what was occurring and what they would have to do to perform their best and land on their feet. Points of convergence and divergence with other acrobatic performances are discussed.
Course of action, Elite performance, Situated activity, Aerial freestyle skiing, Acrobatic
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