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Title: Perceptual-cognitive expertise and its acquisition in soccer
Author: Roca, Andre
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 361X
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2011
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The aims in the current programme of research were to examine the processes underpinning superior anticipation and decision making in soccer and how these are acquired through practice. The expert performance approach (Ericsson & Smith, 1991) was adopted as a guiding framework. In Chapter 2, an attempt was made to develop and validate a representative task simulation to capture reproducible superior performance in soccer under standardised laboratory conditions. In Chapters 3 and 4, skill-based differences in anticipation and decision making were examined using eye-movement recording and verbal reports of thinking. Skilled soccer players were more accurate at anticipation and decision making compared with less skilled players. When compared with their less skilled counterparts, skilled soccer players revealed more efficient and effective visual search strategies and cognitive thought strategies that varied based on the unique situation and task constraints imposed by the game context. Additionally, in Chapter 4, a continuous and dynamic interaction was identified between the different key perceptual-cognitive skills (i.e., postural cues, pattern recognition, and situational probabilities), with their relative importance varying considerably across game situations. In Chapter 5, the acquisition and development of superior anticipation and decision making in soccer players was examined. Skilled players who were high-performing anticipators/decision makers accumulated significantly more hours per year in soccer-specific deliberate play activities during childhood compared to skilled players who were low-performing and novice players. Findings have implications for theory and practice, extending research in the area of perceptual-cognitive expertise and overcoming some of the limitations with previous research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: BF Psychology ; GV561 Sports