Should perceptual or action skill development be prioritised when coaching soccer goalkeepers?

Daniel Eaves, Simon Hood

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Aim: To determine the importance of perceptual and action skills when coaching novice goalkeepers. Method: An experienced footballer kicked footballs towards participants (n = 24) using a controlled volleying technique from 7m. Catches were performed across blocked practice trials under one of four physical practice condition that differed in visual information available: Demonstration (Demo); Temporal occlusion (TO); combined TO and Demo (COM); and a no intervention control (Ctrl). Catching success was graded on every trial using a sixpoint scale. Kinematic data from participants’ static position prior to movement were collected during pre-, postand retention tests. Trends in kinematic data (n = 24) were compared to a kinematic model of an expert goalkeepers’ “ready” stance. Results: Repeated measures mixed ANOVA revealed no significant differences
    across groups in catching data, yet TO and COM did improve the most and were the only conditions to retain performance levels. All groups showed improvements towards the expert’s static shoulder angle across
    acquisition. Only TO retained this feature. Demo and Ctrl conditions showed reductions in mean elbow angle away from the expert’s reference kinematic model. Contrariwise, TO and COM maintained mean elbow angle
    across practice similar to the model. Knee and trunk angles became more like the model under Demo and Com conditions, which was maintained in retention. Conclusion: Catching success was not mediated by training technique. Acquisition of trunk and knee position was prioritised by the Demo group, suggesting these actionbased components of expertise are enhanced using traditional methods. Elbow and shoulder positions more closely replicated the experts’ coordination under TO and Com conditions. This indicates online perceptual processing of advanced cue information determines arm position, advocating perceptual training over demonstration for developing this feature of expert goalkeeping.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    Event1st World Conference on Science and Soccer - Liverpool, United Kingdom
    Duration: 15 May 200816 May 2008


    Conference1st World Conference on Science and Soccer
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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