The influence of coaching instructions on decision-making in soccer

Adam Beavan, Job Fransen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This experimental study examined if precueing influences soccer players’ (N = 13, age =19.5± 2.2 years) decisions and visual search behaviour in a soccer-specific video-based decision-making task. The decision-making task was preceded by a video containing either the basic rules of soccer (neutral condition) or specific coaching instructions that were either compatible or incompatible with the correct decision of the 30 subsequent clips(precue condition). Overall, decision-making accuracy (80.81  8.40 %) was lower and response time (590.75 ± 203.47 ms) was faster in the precue condition compared to the neutral condition (85.85  4.41 %; 630.47 ± 241.55 ms). Additionally, fixation location appeared to be marginally influenced by the compatibility of the precues given. This research supports the conclusion that compatible precues improve sport specific decision making while incompatible precues hinder performance. Coaches with experienced athletes are advised to use a more implicit approach to allow players to optimize their decision making and not constrain athletes’ perception of environmental cues
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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