chapter  1
Interceptive actions in sport: theoretical perspectives and practical applications
Pages 39

Interceptive actions are common in everyday life and are instrumental in helping humans to adapt to their complex and uncertain environments. The range of interceptive actions includes both fine and gross motor responses, performed under a variety of conditions in static and dynamic environments, embracing discrete and continuous tasks. They include mundane tasks like picking up a cup, placing a foot on a kerb when crossing the road, sitting down gently on a chair, or shaking hands with a friend. They are important in many contexts involving rapid aiming movements with different parts of the body such as when playing the piano, typing on a computer keyboard, or placing the foot on the brake of a car. Other interceptive actions require the use of hand-held implements, for example using tools or wielding a fly swat. Indeed, some of the most fascinating insights into motor control processes, such as Bernstein’s (1967) influential observations on movement variability, have been made using putatively mundane interceptive tasks like hammering a nail (see Figure 1.1).