Soccer players with eye tracking technology

Soccer players that improve their focus feel more in control and have greater accuracy in penalty kicking

Research by Greg Wood and Mark Wilson at the University of Exeter shows that penalty takers have more success when they shoot for either of the top two corners of the goal, and more importantly, that accuracy is improved when the kicker focuses for a moment on the spot they want to hit, using the "Quiet Eye" gaze-focusing technique.

Read more: Eye-movement training helps penalty-takers in football feel more in control

Eye Tracking reveals the effects of anxiety

Anxious players taking a penalty kick are more likely to be blocked.

Research by the University of Exeter shows changes in eye movements and focus due to anxiety. In a stressful penalty shootout, a soccer player's attention is likely to be directed towards the goalkeeper as opposed to the optimal scoring zones (just inside the post).

Read more: Why England's Soccer Team Keeps Losing on Penalty Shots

Eye Tracking shows clues about expert performance

Eye tracking technology is used to study soccer players' perception-cognitive skills.

Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Sydney examined the processes underpinning anticipation and decision-making in soccer players. The eye tracking system was used to record players visual search behaviors as they reacted to a realistic video display. Through eye tracking, the study revealed that more skilled players were more accurate than less skilled players at anticipating the intentions of opponents and deciding on an appropriate course of action. These skilled players employed a search strategy involving more fixations of shorter duration in a different sequential order and toward more disparate and informative locations than their less skilled counterparts.

Eye Tracking system records performance of soccer players' free-kick

Eye tracking technology is used to study soccer players' visual search strategies.

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and Gareth Paterson of Stellenbosch University in South Africa has a special interest in the free-kick; often a decisive event in matches. His current projects are taking him from South Africa's Mafikeng Soccer Institute across the globe to Amsterdam and Zeeland in Holland. Paterson measures the visual search strategies employed by players fitted with the eye tracking glasses while performing a direct free-kick at goal. The objective is to determine if more successful players use different visual search strategies compared to less successful players.