• Gerard Gillot
  • Annick Durny


Training and Safety, Coaching, Health, Physiology


According to Flei shman and Quaintance (1984) performances in sports can be analyzed as the result of a combination of several "abilities" or "capacities". Coaches often describe the ability to perform the basics of soaring in terms of psychomotor capacities. Many studies indicate that sportsmen have in general a shorter reaction time and decision time than nonsportsmen, and that they also have a better control of fine movements. It appears also that sustained exercise brings about a lessening of psychomotor capacities. Thus, subjects with good physical aptitudes would be more capable of conserving, or even increasing their psychomotor capacities during an "sustained" exercise of middle to high intensity.  It was found: 1 - The RT capacities of the pilots seem not to be affected by physical fatigue. But this can be also understood as a proof that the flights were for pilots of moderate level. 2 - Instructors noted that trainees often failed in their decisions, but that the meantime of the good responses were better after the flights than before. We think that pilots had a middle level physical fatigue, which activates their Decision Time capacity. 3 - Finally, control of fine movements which is one of the basic capacities in soaring piloting appears to be the psychomotor ability most effectedby physical fatigue. But it is not always the case. We think however there is a need for better physical and psychomotor training too often neglected. This was a preliminary research. Its aim was to know with better precision which are the abilities involved in different sports and how they are affected by fatigue or recovered by various techniques. We are now working to make a larger survey on these psychomotor abilities and to study their evolution during learning in several sports, including soaring. We are looking also at cognitive abilities, especially perception, space perception and self-positionment, decision taking alone and in team, and so one, which seem to be much involved in high level soaring.