Objectives: The study examined if sensorial manipulation affects subjects differently according to their postural performance and strategies employed. The literature showed that the level of competition of soccer players influences their postural performance and strategy.
Methods: Eight high level (HL) professional soccer players and nine at regional level (RL) soccer players were investigated i) in a reference condition (REF) and ii) in a manipulated sensorial condition (MAN). The MAN condition consisted in perturbing the proprioceptive and exteroceptive information. For each postural condition balance was assessed by measuring the centre of foot pressure with a force platform during a test of bipedal standing posture.
Results: The postural control was less perturbed in the HL than in the RL players in the two postural conditions. Moreover, the group*condition interaction showed that the postural control was less disturbed in the HL than in the RL players when the sensory information was manipulated.
Conclusions: The HL soccer players probably possessed a better internal model of verticality than the RL players. Subjects who had a better postural control level were less disturbed by sensorial manipulation than the others in postural regulation.
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