Title page for ETD etd-10202009-142417

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Campher, Jolene
Email campherj@gmail.com
URN etd-10202009-142417
Document Title The role of visual skills and its impact on skills performance of cricket players
Degree Master of Arts
Department Biokinetics, Sport and Leisure Sciences
Advisor Name Title
Prof P E Kruger Supervisor
  • motor development
  • perceptual motor skills
  • visual performance
  • vision
  • motor development
  • visual system
  • motor skill development
  • fundamental motor skills
  • agility
  • speed
  • vision on the sports fields
Date 2009-04-15
Availability unrestricted

Sport has become a very competitive business and focus has been placed on reaching ones full potential. Visual involvement in a sport varies according to environmental demands associated with that sport. These environmental demands are matched by a task specific motor response. The primary aim of this study was to determine if visual skills training programmes could produce beneficial performance results for cricket and soccer players. In order to measure the athletic ability of a cricket and soccer player it is important not only to measure the hardware visual skills of the player, but also the player’s hand-eye co-ordination ability and software visual skills. Thus, aspects of the nervous system such as perceptual motor co-ordination, reaction time and anticipation ability should also be measured to get an indication of the player’s performance ability.

In this study highly skilled cricket players and highly skilled soccer academy players, who were actively participating at a provincial level of competition, served as subjects. Due to professional reasons, the soccer academy players had to withdraw from this study. The provincial cricket players continued for the duration of the programme.

Thus, due to the abovementioned the aim of this study was two fold, to determine whether statistically significant differences exist between the pre and post-training measurements of cricket players on several visual skills tests and secondly to determine whether statistically significant differences exist between the pre-training measurements of cricket and soccer players on the various visual skills measurements.

The data of the variables tested were coded in computer format and statistically evaluated. Since the sample is relatively small non-parametric statistics were used to analyse the data. Two different Non-parametric t-tests were used: the Wilcoxon test is the distribution-free analogue of the t-test for related samples and the Mann-Whitney test is the distribution-free alternative to the independent samples t-test and was used for testing the differences between the means of the cricket players and the soccer players.

After the initial testing the cricket players participated in an eight-week visual skill and performance skills programme for 60 minutes a day, once a week. The programme included sports vision activities, speed and agility activities and ball skills activities. Hereafter a retest was done.

The pre-training and post-training values of the cricket players were recorded and significance of difference was determined by using the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test. The experimental research revealed that the visual skills programme did have a significant influence on most of the tested variables (ball handling skills, co-ordination, visual awareness, eye tracking skills, accuracy, peripheral awareness, pro-action – reaction skills and visual concentration). For some variables that were tested on the experimental group (the cricket players) improvements were found, which indicates that the improvements can be ascribed to the visual skills programme.

The results indicated that more than half of the variables tested improved. It can thus be concluded that the hypothesis that was set for this paper has been proven right. Statistics indicated that there was an increase in most of the variables tested (ball handling skills, co-ordination, visual awareness, eye tracking skills, accuracy, peripheral awareness, proaction – reaction skills and visual concentration), which prove then that visual skills training will result in an increase in the players’ visual fields resulting to an increase in the visual skills on and off the cricket fields. Visual skills training programmes are beneficial to competitive sports performance.

Copyright © 2008, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Campher, J 2008, The role of visual skills and its impact on skills performance of cricket players, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10202009-142417/ >

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