This exploratory study aimed to investigate elements involved in decision making in team handball live situations and to provide coaches and educators with teaching recommendations. The study was positioned within the framework of the situated action paradigm of which two aspects were of particular interest for this project: (a) the relationship between planning and action, and (b) the perception-action coordination. We used qualitative methods that linked (a) video observation of six female elite players’ actions during two championship matches and (b) self-confrontation interviews. Players’ verbalizations reflected that their decision making included the following: (a) perception (visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive), (b) knowledge (concepts, teammates and opponents’ characteristics, experience), (c) expectations (opponents and teammates’ intentions), and (d) contextual elements (score, power play, players on the field, match difficulty). Findings were discussed in terms of teaching implications.
Lenzen is with the Institute of Movement Sciences and Sport Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland, and Theunissen and Cloes are with the Department of Movement Sciences, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.