Perceptual-Cognitive Skill

A framework to predict the effectiveness of perceptual training programs

There are a range of products on the market the claim to improve perceptual skills in sport. Given that these products can be costly, it is important for coaches and sport scientists to understand the likelihood of training programs improving performance.

Stephen Hadlow and colleagues proposed a framework that predicts the effectiveness of a variety of training programs. The framework considers three factors:

  1. Does the training target a sport-specific skill or a generic skill? (e.g., anticipating an opponents action or general reaction time).
  2. Is the visual display sport-specific or generic? (e.g., vision from competition or generic shapes or text).
  3. Does the training require a sport-specific action? (e.g., striking a ball or pressing a button on a keyboard).

In short, the more sport-specific the training is, the more likely it is that the training will lead to improved performance during competition.


Hadlow, S. M., Panchuk, D., Mann, D. L., Portus, M. R., & Abernethy, B. (2018). Modified perceptual training in sport: A new classification framework. Journal of science and medicine in sport.


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