An exploration of shifts in visual fixation prior to the execution of baseball batting: evidence for oculomotor warm up, attentional processes or pre-performance routines?

The visual performance of athletes should be considered high on the list of variables fundamental to elite sport performance. One particular aspect of visual performance that has gained dominance over the last 25 years is the quiet eye. Quiet eye is the final visual fixation of long, steady duration prior to the execution of a motor skill. However, as the concept of quiet eye has achieved dominance in the field of motor control, we know increasingly less about the visual behavior that precedes the onset of it. This is especially true for externally-paced interceptive tasks such as baseball hitting. The present study collected data on the visual scene using mobile eye trackers, as experienced by 58 professional baseball players during batting practice. The results suggest that athletes exhibit multiple dynamic shifts in visual fixation prior to the onset of quiet eye and the pitcher's action. Furthermore, cluster analysis revealed a significant positive relationship between the number of shifts in visual fixations and batting average, indicating that this visual skill may contribute to more efficient interception of the ball. The purpose of these dynamic shifts in visual fixation are proposed, alongside a call for further research to develop a deeper understanding of this pre-task visual behavior and its role in sport performance.
© Copyright 2017 International Journal of Sports Science. Scientific & Academic Publishing. All rights reserved.

Subjects: baseball eye visualization sport psychology
Notations: sport games biological and medical sciences
Tagging: visuomotorische Fähigkeit visuomotorische Koordination
DOI: 10.5923/j.sports.20170706.02
Published in: International Journal of Sports Science
Published: 2017
Volume: 7
Issue: 6
Pages: 215-222
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced