Motor and gaze behaviors of youth basketball players taking contested and uncontested jump shots


In this study, we examined the effects of a defender contesting jump shots on performance and gaze behaviors of basketball players taking jump shots. Thirteen skilled youth basketball players performed 48 shots from about 5 m from the basket; 24 uncontested and 24 contested. The participants wore mobile eye tracking glasses to measure their gaze behavior. As expected, an approaching defender trying to contest the shot led to significant changes in movement execution and gaze behavior including shorter shot execution time, longer jump time, longer ball flight time, later final fixation onset, and longer fixation on the defender. Overall, no effects were found for shooting accuracy. However, the effects on shot accuracy were not similar for all participants: six participants showed worse performance and six participants showed better performance in the contested compared to the uncontested condition. These changes in performance were accompanied by differences in gaze behavior. The participants with worse performance showed shorter absolute and relative final fixation duration and a tendency for an earlier final fixation offset in the contested condition compared to the uncontested condition, whereas gaze behavior of the participants with better performance for contested shots was relatively unaffected. The results confirm that a defender contesting the shot is a relevant constraint for basketball shooting suggesting that representative training designs should also include contested shots, and more generally other constraints that are representative of the actual performance setting such as time or mental pressure.

Reference Van Maarseveen, M. J. J., & Oudejans, R. R. D. (2018). Motor and gaze behaviors of youth basketball players taking contested and uncontested jump shots. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(706), 1-9.
Published by  Faculteit Bewegen, Sport en Voeding 14 May 2018

Publication date

May 2018


Mariette J. J. Van Maarseveen


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