• The development and effectiveness of perceptual training programme for coaches and judges in gymnastics

      Lafferty, Moira E.; Page, Jennifer L. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2009-03)
      This thesis investigated the development and effectiveness of a perceptual training programmes for coaches and judges in gymnastics. Study one examined the variability of visual search for coaches and judges when viewing handspring vaults. The study found that there were no significant differences between the mean number of fixations, fixation duration and number of areas fixated across two time-points four weeks apart. In addtion, the natural range of variation of the number of fixations, fixation duration and number of area fixated was found to be 9/7%, 5.7% and 14.2% (expressed as coefficient of variation). Study two examined differences between expert and novice gymnastics coaches' and judges' visual search. Analysis of gaze behaviour showed that experts make significantly more fixations of significantly longer duration to significantly fewer areas than novies. There was no significant difference between the outcome juddgements made by the expert and novice coaches and judges. These findings suggest that visual search may be a contributing factor to expert performance in judgement formation. Study three explored the visual search pattern and knowledge used by expert coaches and judges when making decisions. Data were gathered through the used of eye-tracking and semi-structered interviews. Analyses established that experts tend to fixate on the torso and shoulders of gymnasts throughout the vault, and that there are three to four specific areas which are explored during each phase of a vault. Study four examined the effectiveness of a perceptual training programme for a perceptual traning and control group. Fixation number, fixation duration, number of areas fixated and outcome judgement were recorded at baseline, immediently after the programme and four weeks after it had been withdrawn. 2 (control vs. perceputal training) x 3 (intervention phase) ANOVA's with repeated measures showed that the perceptual training group produced significantly less error at the retention stage for number of fixations (F (2,6) = 12.57, p = 0.01, effect size n2 = .81), at the post-test for fixation duration (F (2,6) = 7.49, p = 0.02, effect size n2 = .71). However post-hoc analyses could not detect the difference for number of areas fixated. In study five, four participants that took part in the experiental condition watched a perceptual training DVD twice a week for six weeks. The case study data showed that the expert and novices who watched the perceptual training DVD made changes to their visual search variables and judgements and therefore became more analogous to the experts from study three to baseline to the post-test. However, only the novices retained the beneficial effects of the intervention. To conclude, this programme of research examinaed the development and effectiveness of a perceptual training programee for coaches' and judges' in gymnastics. This thesis suggests that a perceptual training programme based on the visual search and declarative knowledge of expert coaches and judges is effective at altering visual search and enhancing decision making for noveice coaches and judges. This research programme therefore promotes the use of perceptual training programmes for novice coaches and judges in sport.
    • An exploration of visual search between coaches and judges in gymnastics

      Page, Jennifer L.; Lafferty, Moira E.; Wheeler, Timothy J.; University of Chester (2007-07)
      This conference paper discusses a case study of 7 coaches and 5 coach/judges who viewed ten handspring vaults whilst earing an ASL 501 eye-tracker. The results provide evidence that to suggest that coaches and coach/judges produce similar search patterns when judging performance using pre-determined criteria. This has implications for perceptual training and the development of training aids where, despite coaches and judges performing separate roles, eye patterns can be trainined in order to produce a more effective scan pattern for error detection.
    • The link between knowledge and visual fixation in gymnastics coaching and judging: A case study approach

      Page, Jennifer L.; Lafferty, Moira E.; Wheeler, Timothy J.; University of Chester (2007-09)
      Whilst little information exists to explain how coaches and judges process observed movement into performance scores, it wouls seem logical to suggest that a relationship exists between attention and knowledge. This study examines the relationship between these phenomena by examining whether a relationship exists between visual fixation data and knowledge in gymnastic judging scenarios, using a two-phase case study design.