Matthew Krueger’s Mkin Major Paper Presentation

Title: “Anticipating opponent’s setting location in volleyball: Using temporal occlusion and distinct viewpoints to distinguish between expertise and positions”

Supervisor: Dr. Nicola Hodges
Second Reader: Dr. Kerry MacDonald (Kinesiology)

Abstract: Anticipation in sport is the ability to use information from the environment to predict an appropriate immediate response. Although skilled athletes show stronger predictive capabilities than less skilled athletes, the experiences which produce these capabilities are debated. We were interested in these predictive capabilities based on player position and camera viewpoint, where individuals have either primarily visual or action experiences in making or responding to the direction of a “set” in volleyball. We used the temporal occlusion method to compare skilled (USport/Collegiate) and novice (no post-secondary volleyball) athletes, comparing across playing position (setters vs. blockers), camera angles (Defensive/Blocker view or Offensive/Setter view) for various occlusions points (OPs), before and at ball contact. If physical experience of setting helps in responding to the set direction, setters should be more accurate than non-setters, regardless of viewpoint. However, if perceptual experience matters more, the blockers should be more accurate at responding to the set direction from the defensive viewpoint than setters. Experts had higher prediction accuracy at OP2 & OP3 compared to novices in both left-right (blocker and setter view) movement conditions. Setters showed a superior anticipation accuracy at OP2 in the Blocker View left-right condition.  Both experts (compared to novices) and setters (compared to blockers) were more accurate in the Setter View front-back condition (i.e., from behind the setter, moving forward and backwards), during OP2 & OP3. These results concerning viewpoint are consistent with the idea that the first-person experience of a specific motor behaviour helps to bring about similar cognitive states during action observation as experienced during action execution. Therefore, the experience of setting was advantageous for both experts and setters in their ability to correctly predict the final set location compared to their counterparts.