Main Article Content
Visual Tracking Speed, executive function, perceptual-cognitive processing, task transfer, soccer performance
Introduction: Three-dimensional motion object tracking (3D-MOT) is perceptual-cognitive tool which utilizes executive function to train athletes to ignore distractors and enhance processing speed and peripheral focus. The benefits of perceptual-cognitive training in professional level athletes have recently been investigated in multiple sports such as basketball, soccer, and archery, but conclusive evidence suggesting test transferability of 3D-MOT training is lacking. The purpose of this research was to examine the transferability of perceptual-cognitive training to on-field soccer performance parameters.
Methods: NCAA Division I women’s soccer players (n=22) between the ages of 18-25 participated in the study. NeuroTracker, a 3D-MOT device to train athletes executive function and decision making, was utilized to test the athletes. After baseline testing for both groups to determine visual tracking speed (VTS), the experimental group completed 10 3D-MOT training sessions with NeuroTracker over four-weeks. Game performance data, successful action, passing percentage, and short-medium range passing percentage, was collected utilizing Wyscout video analysis software during the 2021 season.
Results: The mean VTS for the NeuroTracker training group significantly increased by 0.68 from pre-3D-MOT training to post-3D-MOT training (p<0.001) while the control group increased by 0.12 (p = 0.034). Analysis utilized an ANCOVA and observed no statistical significance for passing accuracy, successful action and short-medium passing accuracy (p > 0.05). However, the average in game passing-accuracy for the experimental group increased over the control group.
Conclusions: The effect of test transferability of 3D-MOT training on soccer specific parameters may be present, but causation of test transferability is not present within the current study. Further research is needed to investigate the cause-and-effect relationship of 3D-MOT training on soccer specific parameters while utilizing recruitment of multiple teams to increase sample sizes for similar investigations.
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