The Development of Anticipation: A Cross-Sectional Examination of the Practice Experiences Contributing to Skill in Cricket Batting

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Juanita Weissensteiner University of Queensland
Cricket Australia
Australian Institute of Sport

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Bruce Abernethy University of Queensland
University of Hong Kong

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Damian Farrow Australian Institute of Sport

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Sean Müller Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

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The link between the anticipation skills of cricket batsmen and their practice histories was examined. Skilled and lesser skilled batsmen of U15, U20, and adult age completed a temporal occlusion task, in which they were required to use prerelease kinematic information to predict the type and length of delivery being bowled, and a structured interview, in which their accumulated hours of experience in organized and unorganized sporting activities were estimated. Skilled adult and U20 players showed an ability to use prerelease kinematic information to anticipate ball type that was not evident among any other group, and skilled players of all ages were distinguishable in terms of their accumulated hours of cricket-specific experience. Hours of cricket-spe-cific practice, however, explained only a modest percentage of the variance in anticipatory skill. Discussion focuses upon future refinements to the measurement of anticipation and practice history plus the role that variables other than the quantum of cricket experience may play in developing anticipation.

Weissensteiner is with the School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland; Cricket Australia; and Australian Institute of Sport; Abernethy is with the Institute of Human Performance, University of Hong Kong, and the School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland; Farrow is with Sports Science and Sports Medicine, Australian Institute of Sport; and Müller is with the Discipline of Exercise Sciences, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

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