Perceptual-cognitive skill training and its transfer to expert performance in the field: Future research directions

David P. Broadbent, Joe Causer, A. Mark Williams, Paul Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability to anticipate and to make decisions is crucial to skilled performance in many sports. We exam- ined the role of and interaction between the different perceptual-cognitive skills underlying anticipation and decision making. Skilled and less skilled players interacted as defenders with life-size lm sequences of 11 versus 11 soccer situations. Participants were presented with task conditions in which the ball was located in the offensive or defensive half of the pitch (far vs. near conditions). Participants’ eye movements and verbal reports of thinking were recorded across two experiments. Skilled players reported more accurate anticipation and decision making than less skilled players, with their superior performance being underpinned by differ- ences in task-speci c search behaviors and thought processes. The perceptual-cognitive skills underpinning superior anticipation and decision making were shown to differ in importance across the two task constraints. Findings have signi cant implications for those interested in capturing and enhancing perceptual-cognitive skill in sport and other domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-331
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2014


  • Expert performance
  • skill acquisition
  • decision-making
  • anticipation


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