Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sport, Leisure & Childhood Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Edward K. Coughlan

Second Advisor

Dr. Cian O'Neill


Visual occlusion is classified as the process of temporally occluding the entire visual field or spatially eliminating the vision of an object, limb or information source from the visuomotor workspace. Research in visual occlusion has typically been conducted utilising a temporal, video simulation approach with participants responding in a verbal, computerised or written manner. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to examine the impact of spatial occlusion, as a training tool, on complex motor skills in sport. Spatial occlusion goggles, that eliminate vision of the low-grade visual field, were incorporated during sports relevant tasks. Experiments were conducted, using a pre-post-retention design, with the crossover dribble in basketball, the control and pass of a projected football while concurrently calling randomly generated numbers, and receiving and passing a football to a teammate under varying representative experimental conditions. Results demonstrated significant improvements in performance variables for the requisite tasks. Results also displayed a significant improvement in participant’s ability to direct their visual attention upward toward the performance environment. The findings of this thesis suggest that spatial occlusion goggles can be an effective method for training complex motor sports skills. It also provides strong evidence and a rationale for their implementation in an applied setting.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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