Everyone's a winner – Improving individual performance
If you are a sports scientist, you have to make detailed observations of the movement and activities of athletes in a range of solo and team sports. Measuring and improving performance often requires combining physiological, biomechanical and behavioral data to provide a complete picture of performance.
As a trainer, you are aware of the need to provide immediate, specific feedback – whatever the sport. This will most likely include video playback to illustrate errors in technique, to motivate or to summarize improvement over several sessions.
Since hand and eye coordination is the key issue here, eye tracking can play a major role in allowing both scientists and trainers to evaluate and measure the progress of their athletes. In this way, you can effectively train such skills as reaction times, alertness and precision.
In sports involving aircraft, for example, it is important to evaluate fixation duration on cockpit instruments as opposed to the time spent looking outside the plane. In ball sports, on the other hand, research is concentrating on whether professionals focus more on the ball itself or on the target area.
Eye and gaze tracking technology can prove effective in analyzing the following sports:
Due to the demanding environments and situations found in most sports, the productive use of eye tracking with real-world tasks requires robust technology that is still easy to wear and non-invasive. It also needs to be fast and easy to configure, comprising a minimum number of components.
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Improving Visual Perception in Baseball
The Coach of the Dutch National Junior Baseball Team employed SMI Eye Tracking Glasses to present new training methods for improving players' gaze strategies. In a hands-on session at the leading European conference for Baseball coaches, he analyzed the eye gaze of batters in different phases of the pitchers' movements. The new visual training methods were successfully tested by players from the Dutch National Baseball Team, World Champion in Baseball 2011.