Playing football

Sports performance research

Eye tracking in sports performance research

Knowing where and when to look is crucial for the execution of a skilled motor action. Our eye tracking solutions capture gaze behavior data that can be used for developing improved training programs, assessment methods, and injury prevention strategies.

Creating evidence-based strategies

When examining sports performance, there is a difference between looking and seeing. Training athletes to see the most relevant aspects of the target can enhance their trajectory estimation, visual search, and decision-making skills. These perceptual-cognitive processes are now accessible for objective evaluation with eye tracking technology.

Person wearing Tobii Pro Glasses 3 while riding a horse

Robust data capture and analysis

We provide solutions for examining sports performance — whether you are conducting a study in a football field, ski run, or a lab. Our solutions deliver robust data, enable freedom of movement, and are easy to use.

Effective advertising at sport events

Shortcut the learning curve from novice to expert

Elite athletes, judges, and coaches demonstrate superior visual search strategies compared to novices in many sports and disciplines, including ice hockey, football, and karate. Use eye tracking to study how life-long training influences one’s ability to read the game and use this knowledge to shortcut the learning curve from novice to expert.

Training Karate athletes

Improve hand-eye coordination

Efficient visual-motor coordination is crucial for high athletic performance in sports like rock climbing, tennis, and darts. Tobii eye trackers are compatible with many motion capture solutions, for example, Qualisys. The combination of eye tracking and motion capture will help you gather insights about athletes’ hand-eye coordination into improved training strategies.

Motion Capture markers

What you can measure with eye tracking

Tobii Pro Glasses 3 combined with our analysis software Tobii Pro Lab are all you need to you to run sports performance studies and acquire quantitative data underlying visual behavior, including:

  • Attention

  • Focus

  • Perception

  • Visual search strategy

  • Decision making

Research setups for sports research

Wearing Tobii Pro Glasses 3 with a motorcycle helmet

Wearable for the real world

Tobii Pro Glasses 3 wearable eye tracker allows complete freedom of movement, which is crucial when studying athletic performance. The lightweight design of the glasses, coupled with a wireless connection, allows participants to perform their sport as usual.

Tobii Pro Lab - callibration

Screen-based for the lab

For lab environments, our screen-based eye trackers, Tobii Pro Fusion and Tobii Pro Spark, can be combined with Tobii Pro Lab to study athletes’ perceptual-cognitive processes.

Tobii Pro Spark

Screen-based for the field

In the field, you can connect the plug-and-play Tobii Pro Spark eye tracker to a screen in, say football Video Operation Rooms (VOR), or any other location where study participants are readily available. Works together with Tobii Pro Lab to gather insights on gaze behavior.

Related content

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Someone surfing

Using eye tracking to analyze surfers’ gaze patterns

Under the name Vision in Motion (VIM), several researchers from different areas of sports science combined their existing research constructs to study perceptual-cognitive expertise in surfing using both eye tracking and motion analysis technology.

Learn more

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Related products

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Tobii Pro Glasses 3 - IF Design award and Reddot Winner 2021

Tobii Pro Glasses 3

Designed for the real world, our third-generation wearable eye tracker allows you to conduct behavioral research in a wide range of settings.

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Tobii Pro Spark

New! Tobii Pro Spark

A powerful screen-based eye tracker, capturing gaze data at 60 Hz. With this affordable system, anyone can easily enhance their research with data that illuminates human attention and intent.

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Tobii Pro Lab

Tobii Pro Lab

Tobii Pro Lab, our eye tracking software supporting screen-based and wearable eye trackers. Guides the researcher through the entire research workflow.

Learn more
Tobii-Pro-Fusion

Tobii Pro Fusion

Screen-based eye tracker, capturing gaze data at speeds up to 250 Hz. This powerful research system supports from fixation to saccade-based research outside of the lab.

Learn more

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Eye tracking in sports performance research

Visual control during climbing: Variability in practice fosters a proactive gaze pattern

In this study, Hacques and colleagues (2022) investigated the effect of different training schedules (constant vs. variable) on gaze behavior during indoor climbing. They used Tobii Pro Glasses to record gaze patterns toward the handholds and hand movements of the participants. The results showed that the constant training group used more online gaze control than the variable training group, which relied more on proactive gaze control during climbing.

Coaches’ pointing gestures as means to convey tactical information in basketball: an eye tracking study

Chikha and colleagues (2022) used Tobii Pro Glasses to explore basketball players’ visual attention while learning the game system in the absence vs. the presence of coaches’ pointing gestures. They found that the coach’s pointing gestures improved novice players’ performance, but the effect disappeared in expert participants, indicating an expertise reversal effect.

Scanning activity of elite football players in 11 vs. 11 match play: an eye tracking study

Aksum and colleagues (2021) examined the scanning behavior of four elite football midfield players in an 11 vs. 11 real-game environment using Tobii Pro Glasses. The results revealed that the ball context influenced the player’s scanning duration: a longer scanning duration was observed when the ball was in the air compared to the pitch or when the ball was passed between two players rather than when one player had the ball. The results suggest that the elite players focus on the information, which could allow better anticipation of the ball’s position and direction.

Enabling success

We offer tailored support to address research needs throughout your journey with our eye tracking solutions.

Person filling out a grant proposal

Tobii Funding support services

Help you improve your grant proposals for research that includes eye tracking in its methodology

Tobii Connect

Tobii Connect

Product documentation, how-to guides, FAQs, and access to software updates. Our customer care services help with any technical issues with our products.

Tobii Academy

Tobii Academy

Our online learning platform helping you ensure study success at every step of the way, from study design to interpreting your eye tracking data.

Publications

Campbell, M. J., Moran, A. P., Bargary, N., Surmon, S., Bressan, L., & Kenny, I. C. (2019). Pupillometry during golf putting: A new window on the cognitive mechanisms underlying quiet eye. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 8, 53–62.  

Fortin-Guichard, D., Laflamme, V., Julien, A.-S., Trottier, C., & Grondin, S. (2020). Decision-making and dynamics of eye movements in volleyball experts. Scientific Reports, 10(1), Article 1.  

Kassem, L., MacMahon, C., Quinn, J., Dogramaci, S., Pang, B., & Steel, K. A. (2022). Examining the Eye Movement Behaviors Associated With Skilled Decision-Making by Elite Australian Rules Football Players. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 4, 899217.

Shearer, D. A., Leeworthy, S., Jones, S., Rickards, E., Blake, M., Heirene, R. M., Gross, M. J., & Bruton, A. M. (2020). There Is an “Eye” in Team: Exploring the Interplay Between Emotion, Gaze Behavior, and Collective Efficacy in Team Sport Settings. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 2.  

Vincze, A., Jurchis, R., & Iliescu, D. (2022). Quiet eye facilitates processing complex information in elite table tennis players. Visual Cognition, 30(7), 506–516.