Scholarly Communications Project

What Children Think, Feel, and Know About the Overhand Throw


Mark A. Manross

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science


George Graham, Chair
Janet Sawyers
Richard Stratton

November 28, 1994
Blacksburg, Virginia


The purpose of this study was to gather insights about the thoughts, feelings, and knowledge children had about the skill of throwing. Interviews, conducted with 54 children enrolled in two different schools, served as the primary data collection source. Information concerning their knowledge of the biomechanical throwing cues was gathered using a written test.

The children were involved in two different physical education programs. One physical education program was taught using the skills theme approach and the other used a traditional approach. Questions guiding the study included asking the children how they felt about how they were learning to throw, what they liked and disliked about their throwing experiences in their physical education classes, and how important they thought it was to learn to throw. Children were also asked to describe and demonstrate the correct way to throw a ball. Assertions were formed using interpretive research. These assertions framed and organized the results section of the study.

Results indicated that the children taught using the skills themes approach were more knowledgeable about the skill of throwing and they attributed their throwing knowledge to their physical education teacher. The children taught using a traditional approach showed little knowledge about throwing and they relied on others, not their physical education teacher, to teach them about throwing. Additional results revealed that all of the children said throwing was an important skill to learn and the way to improve throwing performance was to practice. Implications for teaching throwing are offered.

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The author grants to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University or its agents the right to archive and display their thesis or dissertation in whole or in part in the University Libraries in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all proprietary rights, such as patent rights. The author also retains the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.
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