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Individual differences in anticipation of expert field hockey goalkeepers: Improving perceptual-motor skill

Morris-Binelli, Khaya (2020) Individual differences in anticipation of expert field hockey goalkeepers: Improving perceptual-motor skill. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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This PhD thesis implemented a mixed-methods approach to investigate individual differences in performance, learning, and transfer of expert athletes’ capabilities to anticipate. In study 1, international field hockey goalkeepers and coaches were interviewed to understand their beliefs regarding anticipation of the drag-flick in penalty corners. Participants reported that pre-match video analysis, perception and action, as well as psychological factors are vital to anticipate the drag-flick. Study 2 employed a single-subject design and video-based temporal occlusion paradigm to investigate individual differences in expert and emerging-expert male field hockey goalkeepers’ integrated pick-up of contextual and opponent kinematic information for anticipation. Results indicated some expert and emerging-expert goalkeepers were able to integrate these sources of visual information to anticipate. Thereafter, a sub-sample of goalkeepers participated in a video temporal occlusion anticipation training program with pre, post, retention video tests, as well as a pre-post transfer field test. Some goalkeepers received the intervention and some did not. All intervention goalkeepers, but not the controls, improved on aspects of the video temporal occlusion and field penalty corner tests. Match statistics for two goalkeepers who received the training were also tracked using a multiple-baseline design. Results indicated no improvement in the control baseline phases, but an indication of improvement post-intervention. Study 3 employed a single-subject design to investigate individual differences in expert and emerging-expert female field hockey goalkeepers integrated pick-up of contextual and kinematic information to anticipate across female and male opponents. Results indicated some goalkeepers were able to transfer the capability to anticipate the drag-flick across different opponents. Overall, these findings advanced theoretical knowledge of visual anticipation through an individualized approach in a population of truly expert participants.

Furthermore, the findings provide practical implications for skill acquisition specialists, sport psychologists, and coaches to evaluate and improve the visual anticipation of their athletes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Supervisor(s): Muller, Sean and van Rens, Fleur
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