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Erich J. Petushek, Edward T. Cokely, Paul Ward and Gregory D. Myer

Instrument-based biomechanical movement analysis is an effective injury screening method but relies on expensive equipment and time-consuming analysis. Screening methods that rely on visual inspection and perceptual skill for prognosticating injury risk provide an alternative approach that can significantly reduce cost and time. However, substantial individual differences exist in skill when estimating injury risk performance via observation. The underlying perceptual-cognitive mechanisms of injury risk identification were explored to better understand the nature of this skill and provide a foundation for improving performance. Quantitative structural and process modeling of risk estimation indicated that superior performance was largely mediated by specific strategies and skills (e.g., irrelevant information reduction), and independent of domain-general cognitive abilities (e.g., mental rotation, general decision skill). These cognitive models suggest that injury prediction expertise (i.e., ACL-IQ) is a trainable skill, and provide a foundation for future research and applications in training, decision support, and ultimately clinical screening investigations.

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Vanda Correia, Duarte Araújo, Alan Cummins and Cathy M. Craig

This study used a virtual, simulated 3 vs. 3 rugby task to investigate whether gaps opening in particular running channels promote different actions by the ball carrier player and whether an effect of rugby expertise is verified. We manipulated emergent gaps in three different locations: Gap 1 in the participant’s own running channel, Gap 2 in the first receiver’s running channel, and Gap 3 in the second receiver’s running channel. Recreational, intermediate, professional, and nonrugby players performed the task. They could (i) run with the ball, (ii) make a short pass, or (iii) make a long pass. All actions were digitally recorded. Results revealed that the emergence of gaps in the defensive line with respect to the participant’s own position significantly influenced action selection. Namely, “run” was most often the action performed in Gap 1, “short pass” in Gap 2, and “long pass” in Gap 3 trials. Furthermore, a strong positive relationship between expertise and task achievement was found.

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Paul G. Schempp, Dean Manross, Steven K.S. Tan and Matthew D. Fincher

The purpose of the study was to ascertain the influence of subject matter expertise on teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Data were collected through multiple, extended interviews with 10 teachers with expertise in at least 1 subject area in physical education. Each teacher was interviewed 4 times for approximately 1 hour, focusing on the teacher’s familiarity with 2 content areas (1 expert and 1 nonexpert) and their experiences teaching the subjects. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative technique. The findings were presented with reference to Grossman’s (1990) definition of pedagogical content knowledge. Subject experts identified their largest pedagogical problem as student motivation, while nonexperts believed finding appropriate activities was their greatest challenge. Subject experts were more comfortable and enthusiastic about pedagogical duties and could accommodate a greater range of abilities. The experts and nonexperts revealed no differences in curricular selection, perceptions of students’ understanding of the subject, or evaluation criteria.

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Insook Kim and Bomna Ko

With regard to teacher expertise, experience plays an essential, but insufficient role. According to Siedentop and Eldar ( 1989 ), teacher expertise depends on the context and subject matter. Teachers can develop expertise through extensive teaching experiences in specific contexts (e.g., experts

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Derek T.Y. Mann, A. Mark Williams, Paul Ward and Christopher M. Janelle

Research focusing on perceptual-cognitive skill in sport is abundant. However, the existing qualitative syntheses of this research lack the quantitative detail necessary to determine the magnitude of differences between groups of varying levels of skills, thereby limiting the theoretical and practical contribution of this body of literature. We present a meta-analytic review focusing on perceptual-cognitive skill in sport (N = 42 studies, 388 effect sizes) with the primary aim of quantifying expertise differences. Effects were calculated for a variety of dependent measures (i.e., response accuracy, response time, number of visual fixations, visual fixation duration, and quiet eye period) using point-biserial correlation. Results indicated that experts are better than nonexperts in picking up perceptual cues, as revealed by measures of response accuracy and response time. Systematic differences in visual search behaviors were also observed, with experts using fewer fixations of longer duration, including prolonged quiet eye periods, compared with nonexperts. Several factors (e.g., sport type, research paradigm employed, and stimulus presentation modality) significantly moderated the relationship between level of expertise and perceptual-cognitive skill. Practical and theoretical implications are presented and suggestions for empirical work are provided.

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A. Mark Williams and David Elliott

The effects of anxiety and expertise on visual search strategy in karate were examined. Expert and novice karate performers moved in response to taped karate offensive sequences presented under low (LA) and high anxiety (HA). Expert performers exhibited superior anticipation under LA and HA. No differences were observed between groups in number of fixations, mean fixation duration, or total number of fixation locations per trial. Participants displayed scan paths ascending and descending the centerline of the body, with primary fixations on head and chest regions. Participants demonstrated better performance under HA than under LA. Anxiety had a significant effect on search strategy, highlighted by changes in mean fixation duration and an increase in number of fixations and total number of fixation locations per trial. Increased search activity was more pronounced in novices, with fixations moving from central to peripheral body locations. These changes in search strategy with anxiety might be caused by peripheral narrowing or increased susceptibility to peripheral distractors.

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Wesley Meeter and Kristen Dieffenbach

Stone, Stone and Sands (2005) noted the critical lack of sport science and research based coaching practices in the United States. They noted that current practices are commonly not based on a systematic approach to coaching that allows for both intentionally applied evidence based scientific principles and valid and reliable evaluation methods. Coaching is a profession that requires strong decision making skills, constant assessment, and consistent integration of new information for successful talent development and performance management. Like athletic talent development, the development of these professional skills and the overall development of coaching expertise takes time and deliberate effort (Schempp, 2006). Unfortunately, while formal coaching education program and sport science studies emphasize the physiological, technical and tactical sides of preparing athletes, less attention is paid to the formal development of critical thinking and self-assessment necessary for professional growth and development as a coach. Further, the prevalent grass roots ‘athlete to coach’ and ‘assistant to head’ mentorship models of coach development provide even fewer opportunities for the systematic and deliberate development of these crucial skills.

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Tiago M. Barbosa, Wan Xiu Goh, Jorge E. Morais and Mário J. Costa

The aim was to examine the variation of linear and nonlinear proprieties of the behavior in participants with different levels of swimming expertise among the four swim strokes. Seventy-five swimmers were split into three groups (highly qualified experts, experts and nonexperts) and performed a maximal 25m trial for each of the four competitive swim strokes. A speed-meter cable was attached to the swimmer’s hip to measure hip speed; from which speed fluctuation (dv), approximate entropy (ApEn) and fractal dimension (D) variables were derived. Although simple main effects of expertise and swim stroke were obtained for dv and D, no significant interaction of expertise and stroke were found except in ApEn. The ApEn and D were prone to decrease with increasing expertise. As a conclusion, swimming does exhibit nonlinear properties but its magnitude differs according to the swim stroke and level of expertise of the performer.

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Werner F. Helsen, Janet L. Starkes and Nicola J. Hodges

Two studies tested the theory of deliberate practice (Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Romer, 1993) and contrasted results with the sport commitment model (Scanlan, Carpenter, Schmidt, Simons, & Keeler, 1993a, 1993b). In Part I, international, national, and provincial soccer and field hockey players recalled the amount of time they spent in individual and team practice, sport-related activities, and everyday activities at the start of their career and every 3 years since. In Part II, these activities were rated in terms of their relevance for improving performance, effort and concentration required, and enjoyment. A monotonic relationship between accumulated individual plus team practice and skill level was found. In contrast with Ericsson et al.’s (1993) findings for musicians, relevant activities were also enjoyable, while concentration became a separate dimension from effort. The viability of a generalized theory of expertise is discussed.

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Pete Van Mullem and Sean Dahlin

The pursuit of mastery in coaching is an ongoing journey, requiring a commitment to life-long learning (Gallimore, Gilbert, & Nater, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to share the insight of five professionals (i.e., educator, sport ethicist, administrator, sport researcher, and a coach), participating in a panel session at the 2016 U.S. National Coaching Conference, on pursuing mastery as a coach. The term mastery is often associated with expertise. To be considered an expert, a coach must also be effective (Côté & Gilbert, 2009). Coaches that have achieved this level of effectiveness are often referred to as master teachers. Across the session the views of the panel members emphasized the pursuit of mastery as an ongoing journey of continuous learning. Insight from the panelists is compared with literature in coaching science and recommendations are provided for coaches and coaching educators on how to deliberately pursue mastery as a coach.