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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Advanced cue utilization of soccer goalkeepers during penalty kicks Hanvey, Tod


Two separate experiments were conducted to investigate the role of anticipation during the penalty kick in soccer. Experiment I examined the ability of experienced soccer coaches to anticipate the direction of the ball during a penalty kick. The subjects were randomly placed into either a control or experimental group. Each subject viewed 100 video simulations of penalty kicks during which reaction time, movement time, and response accuracy were assessed. The experimental group was instructed to recognize a single, reliable "advanced response" cue which would allow them to predict shot location more accurately than the control group. Both groups viewed 100 additional video simulations and the three same measures were compared to the results from the first 100 trials. Results indicated that the experimental group displayed a significantly higher response accuracy in the second set of trials, while the control groups' performance did not change significantly. This study demonstrated that an ability to recognize valid and reliable, advanced response cues leads to a greater prediction accuracy of shot direction. Experiment II was designed as a visual training program intended to improve soccer goalkeepers' performance during the penalty kick situation. Eight expert goalkeepers were first assessed on their ability to stop penalty kicks in an actual field setting. The subjects were then visually trained to recognize a reliable, advanced response cue which would allow them to more accurately predict the direction of the penalty shot. The program was designed to reduce the time goalkeepers spend identifying response cues and decrease their response time to a level where they could consistently predict the direction of the ball. The goalkeepers were then given a post-training assessment of their shot stopping ability, to determine if the visual training transferred to improved penalty kick performance. Results indicated that subjects improved their ability to predict shot direction through the utilization of the response cue, "placement of the non-kicking foot". Subjects ability to predict shot direction increased significantly during the laboratory training. This increased predictive ability was also evident in both the transfer task and the post-training assessment during the penalty kick situation.

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