Shot deception in basketball: Gaze and anticipation strategy in defence

Johannes Meyer, Nicholas J. Smeeton, Frowin Fasold, Karsten Schul, Timo Schön, Stefanie Klatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anticipation of teammates and opponents is a critical factor in many sports played in interactive environments. Deceptive actions are used in sports such as basketball to counteract anticipation of an opponent. In this study, we investigated the effects of shot deception on the players' anticipation behaviour in basketball. Thirty one basketball players (15 expert, 16 novice) watched life-sized videos of basketball players performing real shots or shot fakes aimed at the basket. Four different shot outcomes were presented in the video stimuli: a head fake, a ball fake, a high shot fake, and a genuine shot. The videos were temporally occluded at three different time points (−160 ms, −80 ms, 0 ms to ball release) during a shooting motion. The participants had to perform a basketball-related response action to either shots or shot fakes. Response accuracy, response time, and decision confidence were recorded along with gaze behaviour. Anticipation accuracy was reduced at later occlusion points for fake shooting actions. For expert athletes, this effect occurred at later occlusion points compared to novices. The gaze analysis of successful and unsuccessful shot anticipations revealed more gaze fixations towards the hip and legs in successful anticipations, whereas more fixations towards the ball and the head were found in shots unsuccessfully anticipated. It is proposed that hip and leg regions may contain causal information concerning the vertical trajectory of the shooter and identifying this information may be important for perceiving genuine and deceptive shots in basketball.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102975
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Movement Science
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Eye-tracking
  • Gaze behaviour
  • Perceptual anticipation
  • Shot fakes


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