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Eye on the ball: ‘football vision’ as important as ball skills

Researchers have emphasised the importance of football players learning to scan the field

17 Sep 2018 by Selina Powell

Sports experts from Chichester, Limerick and Portsmouth have highlighted the value of football players learning to scan the field as part of their training.

Analysis published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that football coaches with higher coaching qualifications were more likely to incorporate visual exploratory activity into their coaching regime.

More experienced coaches also put a greater emphasis on teaching and evaluating how football players scan the field.

The study authors observed that players who incorporated visual exploratory activity into their play improved their awareness, decision-making and the speed of their technical actions.

Lead author, Craig Pulling, from the University of Chichester, emphasised: “Our findings suggest that inexperienced coaches could benefit from being mentored by more experienced coaches, by being taught the value of scanning, and by being taught ways to integrate it into game play.”

The research involved surveying 303 football coaches who completed an online survey.

Photo credit: University of Chichester

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