Sports Research

Researchers use eye tracking in sports research to detect flaws linked to attentional focus, trajectory estimations, visual search strategies, and hand-eye coordination. In sports psychology, this methodology reveals the differences in mental processes between expert athletes and beginners.

Eye tracking to optimize performance

Some of the leading sports research facilities use eye tracking in order to understand fundamental technique flaws linked to hand-eye coordination and to optimize performance and visual search techniques.

Eye tracking is used as a tool in:

  • Soccer
  • Table tennis
  • Dressage riding
  • Hockey
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Skiing
  • Motorsport

  • American football
  • Fencing
  • Tennis
  • Track running
  • Mountain biking
  • Golf
  • Archery

Visual Attention in Formula 1

Formula 1 driver Nico Hülkenberg is one of the world's most talented motor sports drivers and is currently working with the Sahara Force India team. With the purpose of exploring his reaction times and visual reference points while in a Formula 1 car, he was equipped with Pro Glasses 2 while driving at Silverstone Circuit in the U.K. 

Using eye tracking, we see that the view of the Formula 1 driver is obstructed by the front wheels and Hülkenberg is forced to make decisions using limited visual information. His focus of attention is on the road, curves, and apex lines. He only uses his peripheral view to get information from the rev counter on the steering wheel.

Ski Coaching with Tobii Pro Glasses 2

This video shows how eye tracking can be used as a training assessment tool in sports. The skier wears Tobii Pro Glasses 2, and the coach looks at the gaze data to evaluate the performance.

Talent recognition

Eye movements directly affect sports performance. Because of this, measuring an athlete's innate attentional focus and trajectory-estimation skills can play a vital role in talent recognition. Watching gaze videos from training sessions immediately reveals an athlete's search strategies and, perhaps even more importantly, a lack thereof. Eye tracking can highlight the differences in attentional focus in training versus in more stressful competitive environments. By detecting what is being done incorrectly, a trainer can more easily correct flaws with consistency training.

More aspects about the key success factors in sports can be understood by comprehending how players perceive their surroundings on the field, especially in team sports.

Eye tracking in sport psychology

This is a video from our customer University College Dubin School of Psychology. Professor Aidan Moran explains the extensive eye tracking research performed at the school to understand the mental processes that distinguish expert athletes from beginners. Their data will help coaches train the next generation of players.

Products and services

Tobii Pro offers hardware and software, along with training and support, for the study of human performance in different situations. We have flexible solutions for research in real-world environments and in lab settings.

We have created eye trackers with a range of capabilities- from easy-to-use live viewing in order to get immediate insights to more advanced solutions for the full spectrum of qualitative and quantitative analysis. Read more


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. The insights obtained can help enhance the performance of athletes by optimizing their perception and action patterns. Read more

Swiss Ice Hockey Association

In this study conducted by the Swiss Ice Hockey Association, eye tracking was used to study gaze behavior during the physical task of shooting in ice hockey. The study generated new insights into the gaze behavior of successful shooters, which will be used to develop shooting techniques and training methods to maintain progress in shooting skills. Read more

  • Martin, C., Cegarra, J., & Averty, P. (2011). Analysis of Mental Workload during En-route Air Traffic Control Task Execution Based on Eye-Tracking Technique. In D. Harris (Ed.), Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics (pp. 592–597). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Retrieved from
  • Marshall, S. P. (2009). What the Eyes Reveal: Measuring the Cognitive Workload of Teams. In V. G. Duffy (Ed.), Digital Human Modeling (pp. 265–274). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Retrieved from
  • Dehais, F., Causse, M., & Pastor, J. (2008). Embedded eye tracker in a real aircraft: new perspectives on pilot/aircraft interaction monitoring. Presented at the Proceedings from The 3rd International Conference on Research in Air Transportation. Fairfax, USA: Federal Aviation Administration.

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