A moving goalkeeper distracts penalty takers and impairs shooting accuracy

Wood, Greg and Wilson, Mark R. (2010) A moving goalkeeper distracts penalty takers and impairs shooting accuracy. Journal of Sports Sciences, 28 (9). pp. 937-946. ISSN 0264-0414

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When facing penalty kicks in football (soccer), goalkeepers frequently incorporate strategies that are designed to distract the kicker. However, no direct empirical evidence exists to ascertain what effect such visual distractions have on the attentional control, and performance, of footballers. Eighteen experienced footballers took five penalty kicks under counterbalanced conditions of threat (low vs. high) and goalkeeper movement (stationary vs. waving arms) while wearing eye-tracking equipment. Results suggested that participants were more distracted by a moving goalkeeper than a stationary one and struggled to disengage from a moving goalkeeper under situations of high threat. Significantly, more penalties were saved on trials when the goalkeeper was moving and shots were also generally hit closer to the goalkeeper (centrally) on these trials. The results provide partial support for the predictions of attentional control theory and implications for kickers and goalkeepers are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Anxiety, football, soccer, attentional control, penalty kicks, quiet eye
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Murray
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2014 08:54
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2014 08:54
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/348

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