Advancements to the Understanding of Expert Visual Anticipation Skill in Striking Sports

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Superior performance in striking sports requires anticipation skill because of constraints imposed on the performer, which can make it extremely difficult to achieve the motor skill goal. This article reviews the empirical literature on expert visual anticipation in striking sports since 2012 to determine if it has contributed to advancement of a theoretical model. First, methodologies used to study visual anticipation are briefly described. Second, an existing model is outlined to present what is known about the theoretical underpinning of expert visual anticipation. Third, empirical evidence of key factors that contribute to expert visual anticipation are discussed. Moreover, whether anticipation skill can be improved and transferred to different contexts is discussed. The review identifies that there are multiple key factors that contribute to expert visual anticipation performance, which need to be more thoroughly accommodated as part of the theoretical model. There is still less empirical evidence of learning and transfer of visual anticipation skill even though both of these are vital to improve motor skill performance, as well as apply any improvement to anticipation skill in different in situ settings. Collectively, this review provides an update of the research on expert visual anticipation and identifies future research directions that can continue to further knowledge in striking sports.

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