Tag Archives: perception

How Batters Guess At The Plate

via Dan Peterson

It’s not getting any easier being a big league hitter.  Consider that in 2003, only three pitchers lit up the radar gun at 95 mph or more on at least 700 of their pitches, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Matthew Futterman.  Last season, 17 pitchers were able to bring that speed consistently.  In 2003, only Billy Wagner threw at least 25 pitches at or above 100 mph compared to seven pitchers last year. Has the added heat affected the hitters? You bet.  Strikeouts in the MLB totalled 36,426 last season, an 18.3% increase over 2003.  “It’s pretty simple,” said Rick Peterson, director of pitching development for the Baltimore Orioles, in …

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The Vision Of Cristiano Ronaldo

via Axon Sports

Last year, the Spanish newspaper Marca revealed the nicknames that Real Madrid players have given each other inside the Santiago Bernabéu locker room.  While some names poked fun at a player’s appearance (“Nemo” for Mesut Özil’s bulging eyes), superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was simply known as “la máquina”, Spanish for “the machine.”  With his humanoid robot physique and his superior speed and quickness, Ronaldo seems to be programmed for goal scoring. Indeed, sponsor Castrol has developed a self-proclaimed documentary, “Ronaldo – Tested To The Limit”, to attempt to explain the Portuguese player’s body strength, mental ability, technique and skill.  The most interesting of the four segments, mental ability, helps us realize that …

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A Quarterback’s Thinking, Fast And Slow

via Axon Sports

Your favorite NFL team breaks the huddle for the first time in 2012 and your shiny, new first-round draft pick quarterback comes to the line.  As he peers out over the defense, everyone, from the general manager to the fans, is confident they chose the right player in the NFL draft because of his dead-on answer to this question, “A train travels 20 feet in one-fifth of a second.  At this same speed, how many feet will it travel in 3 seconds?”  Although he struggled with the next question, “What is the ninth month of the year?”, his overall Wonderlic cognitive ability test came back with an above average score, giving …

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An Athlete’s Perception Skill Transfers To The Real World

via Axon Sports

Boy Scouts just got some competition.  Now, when little, old ladies need to cross a busy street, they should find a well-trained athlete to do the job, according to University of Illinois researchers. In a test of skill transfer, Laura Chaddock, a researcher at Illinois’ Human Perception and Performance lab, and her team pushed a bunch of college students out into busy traffic to see how well they could navigate the oncoming cars… well, sort of. With the help of a virtual 3D environment called the CAVE, volunteer pedestrians can step into a simulated city street scene, seeing traffic whiz by on three surrounding screens, while walking on a synchronized treadmill. …

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Chess and Perception

via Axon Sports

The Freakonomics blog had a fantastic post a little ways back about chess Grand Master Gary Kasparov that illuminates a lot about expert performance, and just how automatic it becomes after years of practice.  The researchers were Fernand Gobet and Herbert Simon, and they used Kasparov to examine the nature of expertise: Their subject was Gary Kasparov, chess champion of the world for 15 years (1985-2000). As world champion, he often demonstrated his skill by playing a “simul”: games of chess against several masters and grandmasters simultaneously. Kasparov would have to rotate between games. As soon as Kasparov reached a board, his opponent on that board had to make his or …

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