Reading the Future from Body Movements –Anticipation in Handball

Dijana Cocić, Nemanja Vaci, Robert Prieger, Merim Bilalić*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In speed-based sports that require fast reactions, the most accurate predictions are made once the players have seen the ball trajectory. However, waiting for the ball trajectory does not leave enough time for appropriate reactions. Expert athletes use kinematic information which they extract from the opponent’s movements to anticipate the ball trajectory. Temporal occlusion, where only a part of the full movement sequence is presented, has often been used to research anticipation in sports. Unlike many previous studies, we chose occlusion points in video-stimuli of penalty shooting in handball based on the domain-specific analysis of movement sequences. Instead of relying on randomly chosen occlusion points, each time point in our study revealed a specific chunk of information about the direction of the ball. The multivariate analysis showed that handball goalkeepers were not only more accurate and faster than novices overall when predicting where the ball will end up, but that experts and novices also made their decisions based on different kinds of movement sequences. These findings underline the importance of kinematic knowledge for anticipation, but they also demonstrate the significance of carefully chosen occlusion points.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-498
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number4
Early online date4 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2021


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