An Investigation into Course Planning and Visual Search Behaviour in Equestrian Performers
Planning, the process by which people devise and consider future actions, is a crucial but neglected topic in cognitive sport psychology. The present study was designed to rectify this oversight by combining self report and experimental techniques in an effort to elucidate the plans made by elite, intermediate and novice-level equestrian performers engaged in studying a course of obstacles prior to competition. The sample consisted of 15 riders (5 elite, 5 intermediate, and 5 novice) who were interviewed in depth about their planning activities. Eye movements of the riders were recorded in a laboratory setting (using the ASL 5000 Eye-Tracking system) as they tackled a computerised version of the course. Number, duration and location of visual fixations was analysed. Location of fixations was further examined with respect to the interview data in an effort to validate the claims made by riders. The results are discussed in relation to theoretical and practical issues in the field of planning and eye movement research in sport psychology.
Alison Byrne, Aidan Moran.
Department of Psychology, University College Dublin.
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