Enter your details:
Thank you for subscribing.
Subscribe to our newsletter!

Ana Kezic1, Suncica Delas Kalinski1, Katarina Dobrić1

1University of Split, Faculty of Kinesiology, Split, Croatia

Retention Process of Gymnastics Skills in Young School-Aged Children

Sport Mont 2023, 21(1), 71-77 | DOI: 10.26773/smj.230212


The assessment of the level of motor skills in the retention phase is done to determine the impact of the process of motor learning on the process of memorization, and thus on the automation of motor skills. This study aimed at determining the differences in the levels of some gymnastics skills in retention points after different retention intervals. The sample of respondents consisted of a total of 56 first-grade pupils (6.5 years±6 months). The sample of variables consisted of 12 simpler gymnastics skills that were assessed by three independent judges on a 5-point Likert scale. After an experimental gymnastics treatment lasting for 9 months, the subjects were tested two months, and four years post treatment. Trends in the quality of skills retention can be organized into several groups: the first group of skills did not show the differences between different measurement points; however, in the second group, a significant deterioration in performance between measurement points was noted. The third group of skills, structurally the most complex one, showed the differences only after 4 years of the retention period. It can be concluded that no link between the skills has been established, which would precisely define the causes of different trends regarding the decrease in the level of skills. Namely, for some skills, a retention period of two months was sufficient to determine the actual level of acquisition, while some skills required a significantly longer time, in our case 4 years, to determine the actual level of their acquisition.


artistic gymnastics, motor skills, motor learning, automation of skills, acquisition

View full article
(PDF – 174KB)


Akin, M. (2013). Effect of gymnastics training on dynamic balance abilities in 4-6 years of age children. International Journal of Academic Research, 5(2), 142-146.

Arthur, W., Bennett, W., McNelly L.T., & Stanush P.L. (1998). Factors That Influence Skill Decay and Retention: A Quantitative Review and Analysis. Human Performance, 11 (1), 57-101.

Baudry, L., Leroy, D., Thouvarecq, R., & Chollet, D. (2006). Auditory concurrent feedback benefits on the circle performed in gymnastics. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24 (2), 149-156.

Burton, A.W., & Miller, D. E. (1998). Movement skill assessment: Human Kinetics.

Carroll, W.R., & Bandura, A. (1987). Translating cognition into action: The role of visual guidance in observational learning. Journal of Motor Behavior, 19(3), 385-398.

Culjak, Z., Miletic, D., Kalinski, S.D., Kezic, A., & Zuvela, F. (2014). Fundamental movement skills development under the influence of a gymnastics program and everyday physical activity in seven-year-old children. Iranian Journal of Pediatrics, 24 (2), 124-130.

Delaš Kalinski, S., Mandić Jelaska, P., & Atiković, A. (2011). Influence of some motor abilities on the basic gymnastics skills performance through the learning process. In D. Milanović & G. Sporiš (Eds.), Proceedings Book of 6th International Scientific Conference on Kinesiology “Integrative power of Kinesiology”, Opatija, 2011 (pp. 219-222). Zagreb: Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb.

Frikha, M., Chaâri, N., Elghoul, Y., Mohamed-Ali, H.H., & Zinkovsky, A.V. (2019). Effects of combined versus singular verbal or haptic feedback on acquisition, retention, difficulty, and competence perceptions in motor learning. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 126(4), 713-732.

Gallahue, L.D., & Ozmun, C.J. (1998). Understanding motor development. Infants, children, adolescents, adults: McGraw-Hill, Boston.

Gawron, V. (2019). The Doing - A Review of the Skill Retention Research: Mitre Technical Corporation.

Jürimäe, T., & Jürimäe, J. (2000). Growth, physical activity and motor development in prepubertal children: CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Karabourniotis, D., Evaggelinou, C., Tzetzis, G., & Kourtessis, T. (2002). Curriculum enrichment with self-testing activities in development of fundamental movement skills of first-grade children in Greece. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 94 (3), 1259-1270.

Kerr, G.A., & Gross, J.D. (1997). Personal control in elite gymnasts: The relationships between locus of control, self-esteem, and trait anxiety. Journal of Sport Behavior, 20(1), 69.

Kochanowicz, A., Niespodziński, B., Mieszkowski, J., Kochanowicz, K., & Sawczyn, S. (2017). The effect of gymnastic training on muscle strength and co-activation during isometric elbow and glenohumeral flexion/extension. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 58(7-8), 966-973.

Madić, D., Popović, B., & Tumin, D. (2009). Motor abilities of girls included in program of development gymnastics. Glasnik Antropološkog Društva Srbije, (44) , 69-77.

Magill, R.A. (2011). Motor learning and control (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Magill, R.A., & Schoelfender-Zohdi, B. (1996). A visual model and knowledge of performance as sources of information for learning a rhythmic gymnastics skill. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 27, 7-22.

Maleki, F., Nia, P., Zarghami, M., & Neisi, A. (2010). The comparison of different types of observational training on motor learning of gymnastic handstand. Journal of Human Kinetics, 26(10), 13-19.

Neljak, B. (2009). Kinesiological didactics in preschool education: Faculty of Kinesiology, Zagreb.

Proios, M. (2019). Effects of practice style on a complex gymnastics skill performance of high-, medium-, and low-skilled learners. Science of Gymnastics Journal, 11(1), 77-90.

Schmidt, R.A., & Lee, T.D. (2005). Motor Control and Learning: Human Kinetics.

Shafizadeh, A., & Shaban, E. (2018). The Effect of Contextual Interference on Acquisition, Retention and Transfer of Children’s Basic Gymnastics Skills. Motor Behavior, 10(31), 161-176.

Shatnawi, M., & Al-Saeedin, M. (2021). The Effectiveness of Using an Educational Tool 3D GYM (on the Level of Performance and Retention of Learning Some Ground Movements in Gymnastics Among the Students of the Basic Stage in Aqaba Directorate of Education). (https://scholar.ptuk.edu.ps/handle/123456789/889)

Stothard, C., & Nicholson, R. (2012). Skill acquisition and retention in training: DSTO support to the army ammunition study: DSTO Electronics and Surveillance Research Laboratory.

Vandorpe, B., Vandendriessche, J., Vaeyens, R., Pion, J., Lefevre, J., Philippaerts, R., & Lenoir, M. (2011). Factors discriminating gymnasts by competitive level. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 32(08), 591-597.