Anticipation in Sharp Shooting: Cognitive Structures in Detecting Performance Errors

Shamsi S. Monfared, Gershon Tenenbaum, Jonathan R. Folstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: Expert motor performance of closed skills requires refined monitoring of external visual reference points and internal body signals. The primary objective of this study was to examine whether shooters at different skill can detect performance variations by attending to varied sources of signals. Design: A mixed factorial design was used to examine the study's objectives. Specifically, awareness to performance in sharp shooting was examined via visual access or occlusion of visual feedback performed by skilled and less skilled shooters. Method: Thirteen pistol shooters performed 60 rounds of live pistol shooting. A linear distance between the actual and estimated shots (LEE) was used as a dependent measure. Aiming the pistol was sustained for one of two-time intervals (2s and 6s) before allowing shooting. Half of the trials were performed under an occluded vision condition. Estimations of the shots’ outcome and retrospective verbal reports were recorded immediately after completion of the task. Results: The analyses revealed that less skilled shooters' estimation of performance was significantly hampered when they estimated performance errors in the occluded vision condition. Furthermore, skilled shooters reported access to more complex sources of knowledge and feedback for detecting performance errors than less skilled shooters. Conclusions: Error-detection can be considered as an anticipatory skill in a self-paced sport in which the complexity of feedback resources available for detecting performance errors changes with acquired skill. This skill develops through skill acquisition and refinement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101555
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
StatePublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Error-detection
  • Expert performance
  • Feedback
  • Self-paced sport
  • Verbal report


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