Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

A comparative analysis of visual strategy in elite and amateur handball goalkeepers

Jesús Rivilla-García, Alejandro Muñoz, Ignacio Grande, Mercedes Sanchís, Javier Sampedro



The aim of the present study was to analyze the visual strategies prior to a throw from 7 metres in elite and amateur handball goalkeepers. To this end we analyzed the visual fixations in number and order of 10 goalkeepers (29.7±5.4 years; 14.7±8.6 years of experience), 3 elite and 7 amateurs, during the life size projection of 14 different throws, made by different players. During each throw the movement of the eyeballs, the dilation of the pupil (pupillometry) and the subject’s blinking were recorded thanks to a technological system which permitted eye tracking with high speed cameras, and the subsequent presentation of the visual data for each action studied. The elite goalkeepers performed a greater number of visual fixations than the amateur goalkeepers, revealing large and significant differences. Equally the priority zones observed were differed, with the amateur goalkeepers fixating more on the thrower’s face, and the elite goalkeepers paying more attention to the area of the arm/ball. It can therefore be inferred that elite goalkeepers have a greater perceptive capacity and also use different visual strategies from the amateur goalkeepers.




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