Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

McNevin, Nancy

Second Advisor

Khan, Michael


expert novice; modelling; Observational Learning; slow motion; video speed; visual search




In order to learn a skill successfully, the interface between the coach and learner and particularly, the transmission of information from coach to learner is of critical importance. Observational learning is a method which can aid skill acquisition in sport. Observational learning is the ability to watch the behavior of others and to adapt that behavior as a result of this experience. This study examined differences between novices and experts’ visual tracking behaviors while observing slow and real time video demonstration of a complex soccer skill. 32 female college aged participants were drawn as a convenience sample from the University of Windsor Lancer’s soccer team (n = 16) and students from the Department of Kinesiology (n = 16), and were randomly assigned (n = 8) to one of two video presentation conditions (slow motion vs real time video speed). Participants viewed an expert model performing a complex soccer skill. Gaze variability during viewing did not differ between groups. Novices and experts showed more attention initially, but decreased as a function of practice. Experts performed the complex soccer skill better than the novices, as one would expect. Interestingly, the real time experts performed better than the slow motion experts, suggesting that slow motion video speed hinders successful skill learning. Slow motion video observation on the contrary helped the novices learn the phases of the complex soccer skill. Moreover, research is needed to establish what experts focus their attention on while observing a skilled model. In turn, it is important to know whether or not observational learning tools such as slow motion or real time video speed can impact skill acquisition in soccer, as well as in a variety of other sports.