The Effect of Virtual Training on Speed and Accuracy of Decision Making in Sport

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Mark A. Sanger, Matthew T. Buns, Katherine Thomas Thomas

The concept of expertise is an appealing topic in numerous domains, including sport. Research suggests that the path leading to expertise in sport is significantly influenced by the development of specific components, such as knowledge, skill, and game-performance (Thomas and Thomas, 1994). A relatively new technique in the field of teaching and coaching is the use of video games as a mode of instruction (Swing and Anderson, 2008). The purpose of this study was to address the question of whether video games can improve declarative and procedural sport knowledge. Twenty-seven volunteers were recruited through flyers and word of mouth at a university in a Midwest community. Measurements included an American football knowledge (pre- and post) test, survey of experience, and six football practice sessions using a Microsoft X-box. The project was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Human Subjects Review Committee. Knowledge test scores increased significantly from pre- to post-test [t (26) =-4.997, p = 0.0001]; the improvements were moderate (effect size = 0.66). From practice one to practice six (time) the average speed of decisions improved significantly, but accuracy did not. Knowledge increased regardless of the experience level, but the largest improvements in decision accuracy took place at the lowest experience level. This research supports the idea that video games could be an effective tool to increase sport specific knowledge, particularly in novices.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2019-0041
Key words
American Football, Decision-making, Procedural Knowledge, Xbox, Expertise

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