An evaluation of end-point trajectory planning during skilled kicking

Paul Ford, N.J. Hodges, R. Huys, A. Mark Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is evidence that actions are planned by anticipation of their external effects, with the strength of this effect being dependent on the amount of prior practice. In Experiment 1, skilled soccer players performed a kicking task under four conditions: planning in terms of an external action effect (i.e., ball trajectory) or in terms of body movements, either with or without visual error feedback. When feedback was withheld, a ball focus resulted in more accurate outcomes than a body focus. When visual feedback was allowed, there was no difference between these two conditions. In Experiment 2, both skilled and novice soccer players were tested with the addition of a control condition and in the absence of visual feedback. For both groups there was evidence that a ball focus was more beneficial for performance than a body focus, particularly in terms of movement kinematics where correlations across the joints were generally higher for body rather than ball planning. Most skilled participants reported that ball planning felt more normal than body planning. These experiments provide some evidence that actions are planned in terms of their external action effects, supporting the common-coding hypothesis of action planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalMotor Control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

©2009 Human Kinetics


  • action effects
  • expertise
  • motor skill
  • attentional focus


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