Methodological considerations for investigating expert interceptive skill in in situ settings
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This article discusses some key methodological issues related to conducting complex whole body in situ studies involving high-speed interceptive timing skills. The methodological issues that are discussed include the use of object projection machines versus live opponents, the use of multiple opponents (actors), presentation of stimulus information, trial numbers for participants, participant group sample sizes, small-scale comparisons across expertise groups and individuals, as well as timing and accuracy measures. The position argued in each of the foregoing methodological issues is formulated from the theoretical framework of representative task design, where experimental design needs to reflect (and accommodate) the key constraints of the real-world game setting that the researcher intends relevant findings to be generalized. To help conceptualization, a diagram is included showing different methodologies, their degree of representative task design and their respective generalization to the game setting. Collectively, it is hoped that this article will assist researchers in the design, implementation and reporting of in situ studies in expertise and motor skill learning in sport.