Representing reality: Investigating the perception-action couplings of expert soccer Goalkeepers under representative constraints

Franks, Benjamin, Roberts, William M ORCID: 0000-0001-5736-5244 and Jakeman, John (2019) Representing reality: Investigating the perception-action couplings of expert soccer Goalkeepers under representative constraints. In: Studies in Perception & Action. Routledge, London, [1-4].

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Representative Design has become a frequently used term across sport science (Pinder et al. 2011). Brunswiks original assertion that there “is little technical basis for telling whether a given experiment is an ecological normal, located in the midst of a crowd of natural instances, or whether it is more like a bearded lady at the fringes of reality” (Brunswik, 1955, p.204) led towards a key concept, representation design. Brunswik (1955, p.198) proposed that researchers “must resist the temptation {. . .} to interfere” with the environment and “instead strive to retain its natural causal texture in the stimuli presented to participants” (Dhami et al, 2004 p.962). In football goalkeeping, early work on expertise used a penalty kick task in in-situ and digital environments (See Savelsbergh et al. 2002). Whilst the findings are interesting, it is worth proceeding with caution and attention should be turned towards creating representative experiments that are reflective of the environment the individual inhabits. This study attempted to show differences in perceptual behaviours between a traditional task, and a representative task. In a professional football case study, 4 goalkeepers took part in both conditions over a season. Using the Quiet Eye(QE) (Vickers, 1996) as the perceptual mechanism for analysis, eye behaviours were recorded via an SMI-ETG mobile device, and coded with a Vision-In-Action system. QE duration was significantly longer (t2=2.66,P≤0.05) in Penalty trial (PT) than in the Representative trial (RT) (50.75%±2.84% v 45.57%±0.93%). QE onset occurred significantly (t2=4.75,P<0.05) earlier in PT than in RT (21.13%±4.21% v 36.38%±4.30%). Significant differences were observed (t2=3.36,P≤0.05) in QE offset, with PT occurring earlier than in RT (73.48%±1.58% v 82.40%±3.79%). In PT, a significantly greater (t2=3.27,P≤ 0.05) number of fixations occurred at the ball (6.75f±2.22) than the visual pivot (2.25f±1.26). However, in RT, there was no significant differences between mean number of fixations at the ball (7.75f±2.22) and visual pivot (6.25f±3.5). Our findings here illustrate the task specificity of expertise. To try and provide an account of what expert performance looks like, coaches, practitioners and talent developers must be certain they are utilising environments that are reflective of where expert behaviours exist.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Expert performance; Quiet eye; Perceptual behaviours
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports > GV0711 Coaching
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Sport and Exercise > Sports Leadership, Education & Society
Research Priority Areas: Sport, Exercise, Health & Wellbeing
Depositing User: Will Roberts
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2019 14:39
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2019 14:39

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