Perceiving the inertial properties of actions in anticipation skill

Nicholas J. Smeeton, Johannes Meyer, Stefanie Klatt

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Inertial properties of throwing or striking actions constrain action outcomes, but their role in anticipation skill has not been investigated yet. Therefore, the aim of this study was to systematically investigate the effect of inertial constraints on anticipation skill. Fifteen semi-professional and fifteen novice soccer players were tasked with determining the kick direction of penalty kicks occluded at 160 ms, 80 ms before ball-foot contact, at ball-foot contact, or 80 ms after ball-foot contact. The inertial constraints were manipulated by loading the kicking leg with a 2.25 kg weight around the shank of the kicking leg and were compared with unloaded kicks. Anticipation accuracy of kick direction, response time, and decision confidence were recorded. It was found that loaded kick directions were anticipated more accurately, faster, and at earlier occlusion periods than unloaded kicks. The higher accuracy for the loaded kicks was found in the earlier occlusion conditions in experts compared to novices, as were the positive relationships between accuracy and confidence. It was concluded that the perception of the inertial constraints of the kicking action allowed for earlier anticipation of kick direction. It is proposed that accurate perception of the biomechanical property radius of gyrations in the body segments linking proximal to distal towards the kicking foot may provide this information.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102276
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Advance cues
  • Kinematic information
  • Torque
  • Biological motion
  • Kinetic chain


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