Two learning methods for developing high performance and enjoyment in gymnastics were investigated. The participants were healthy undergraduates (n = 38) who were randomly divided into a “model mastery learning group”, for which ideal movements were emphasized, and a “kinesthetic experiential learning group”, for which practice of various movements was emphasized, when performing balance exercises on a gymnastic ball. The psychological effects of the two learning methods were compared using the Intrinsic Motivation Scale, Sport Flow Scale, and Two-Dimensional Mood Scale. Improvements in gymnastic performance were evaluated by timing the durations of balancing on the ball and observations by expert gymnasts.
The results indicated that the participants in the kinesthetic experiential learning group had better balancing times and higher intrinsic motivation, flow state, and pleasure mood scores, whereas the stability of posture on the ball was considered to be higher in the model mastery learning group.
These findings suggest that learning methods using proactive, trial and error learning, and assorted experiences with versatile kinesthesis are more effective for promoting the enjoyment of gymnastics and improving exercise performance.