Adaptability of expert visual anticipation in baseball batting

By manipulating stimulus variation in terms of opponent pitcher actions, this study investigated the capability of expert (n = 30) and near-expert (n = 95) professional baseball batters to adapt anticipation skill when using the video simulation temporal occlusion paradigm. Participants watched in-game footage of two pitchers, one after the other, that was temporally occluded at ball release and various points during ball flight. They were required to make a written prediction of pitch types and locations. Per cent accuracy was calculated for pitch type, for pitch location, and for type and location combined. Results indicated that experts and near-experts could adapt their anticipation to predict above guessing level across both pitchers, but adaptation to the left-handed pitcher was poorer than the right-handed pitcher. Small-to-moderate effect sizes were found in terms of superior adaptation by experts over near-experts at the ball release and early ball flight occlusion conditions. The findings of this study extend theoretical and applied knowledge of expertise in striking sports. Practical application of the instruments and findings are discussed in terms of applied researchers, practitioners and high-performance staff in professional sporting organisations.
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Subjects: baseball anticipation perception visualization adaptation
Notations: sport games
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1230225
Published in: Journal of Sports Sciences
Published: 2017
Volume: 35
Issue: 17
Pages: 1682-1690
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced