Inter-distance differences in aiming error and visual perception influence shooting performance in basketball

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Nathan Slegers


This study is the first to use inter-distance differences in shooting direction error to investigate the influence of visual perception on basketball shooting performance. Thirty-two experienced basketball athletes (NCAA Division I-III: n = 15, Canadian U Sports Association: n = 13, National Basketball Association: n = 4) attempted blocks of 25 jump shots from a near (free throw) and far distance (three-point attempt). Differences in the root-mean-square deviation of lateral direction error as distance increased, ΔLDE, were used to measure an individual’s change in lateral accuracy as the target changed within their visual field. The mean ΔLDE was -0.18 degrees (p < .001, 95% CI: -0.25 – -0.11) indicating that an individual’s lateral direction accuracy worsened as shooting distance decreased and external visual cues transitioned away from their central vision. Shooting performance had a strong positive correlation with ΔLDE (r = 0.57, p = .001) indicating that better shooters have a higher ability to adapt to the changes in visual perception with distance and experienced smaller reductions in lateral accuracy as shooting distance decreased. These findings show that visual perception has a significant role in basketball shooting performance and that ΔLDE is a valuable measure for assessing how an athlete’s proficiency in visual perception contributes to their performance.

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How to Cite
Slegers, N. (2022). Inter-distance differences in aiming error and visual perception influence shooting performance in basketball. Scientific Journal of Sport and Performance, 1(3), 220–229.
Performance Analysis of Sport and Physical Conditioning


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