What Differences Exist in Professional Ice Hockey Performance Using Virtual Reality (VR) Technology between Professional Hockey Players and Freestyle Wrestlers? (a Pilot Study)
There is little research on the study of specific characteristics that contribute to the faster adaptation of athletes during the transition from one sport to another. We used virtual reality (VR) to study the differences between professional ice hockey players and other sport professionals (freestyle wrestlers), who were novices in hockey in terms of motor responses and efficiency performance, on different levels of difficulty. In the VR environment, four levels of difficulty (four blocks) were simulated, depended on the speed of the puck and the distance to it (Bl1—60–80 km/h and 18 m; Bl2—60–100 km/h, distances 12 and 18 m; Bl3—speeds up to 170 km/h and 6, 12, and 18 m; Bl4— the pucks are presented in a series of two (in sequence with a 1 s interval)). The results of the study showed that the hockey professionals proved to have more stable movement patterns of the knee and hip joints. They also made fewer head movements as a response to stimuli during all runs (0.66 vs. 1.25, p = 0.043). Thus, working out on these parameters can contribute to the faster adaptation of wrestlers in developing professional ice hockey skills.