Quiet eye training during the rugby union goal-kick: Practice and transfer effects in low- and high-pressure conditions

Retief Broodryk, Lee Moore, Ankebe Kruger

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Abstract

The present study aimed to examine the effect of a quiet eye training (QET) intervention compared to a technical training (TT) intervention on the visual control and performance of rugby union goal-kickers. Male rugby union players (n = 18, M age = 21.35 years, SD = 2.03) were randomly assigned into a QET or TT group. Participants completed a pre-test, retention test 1, pressure test, and retention test 2 over six weeks, including a two-week intervention programme. The QET focussed on the QE and performance, while TT focussed on technical aspects of rugby goal-kicking. Each participant performed a total of 50 kicks that consisted of 15 kicks during the pre-test, retention test 1, and retention test 2, and five kicks during the pressure test. Using a Dikablis eye-tracker the QE was measured before (QE-pre), and during (QE-online), the run-up of the goal-kick. The results indicated that QE-pre durations increased from the pre-test to both retention tests and the pressure test for the QET group only (all p's < 0.05, all d's ≥ 0.08). The QET group also displayed longer QE-pre durations during the pressure and retention tests (all p's < 0.05, all d's ≥ 0.80), and longer QE-online durations during the pressure test (d = 0.73), compared to the TT group. Finally, the QET group outperformed the TT group during the pressure test (d = 0.72). Thus, overall, our results revealed that a short QET intervention benefitted attentional control and goal-kicking performance, particularly under high-pressure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science & Coaching
Early online date13 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • attention
  • cognitive-perceptual expertise
  • gaze behaviour
  • motor control
  • vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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