chapter  3
Visual search and cue utilisation in racket sports
Pages 26

Dynamic interceptive actions in racket sports engage the performer in a series of perceptual and motor activities that generally occur in a predictable manner (Keele, Davidson and Hayes, 1998). Frequently, the sequence of shots during a rally demands that players make immediate decisions based on only partial stroke execution information from their opponent in order to anticipate the direction and force of an upcoming return. Other chapters have referred to the severe spatial and temporal constraints in many sports emphasising the use of interceptive actions (for example, see Chapter 1 and the chapters by Williams and Weigelt and by Williams and Starkes). Racket sport performers face just as severe task constraints. Indeed, many of today’s highly-skilled tennis players serve and hit ground strokes at speeds over 160 km/h. Players preparing to receive such serves or volleys must begin anticipating and initiating movements very early to be in position to execute a return stroke, otherwise delays in the series of perceptual and motor processing activities prevent performers from being in the right place at the right time.