Expert goalkeepers: They have better selective visual search

Do you remember the fantastic goal keeping of Joao Ricardo of Portugal that sent a mortified English squad to their doom in the World Cup? He outclassed Paul Robinson because of better anticipatory processes (that and the fact that the English players were just horrible at taking penalties).
A study (Savelsbergh GJ, Williams AM, Van der Kamp J, Ward P, 2002) shows that expert goalkeepers as compared to novices spend less time scanning different parts of the body and focus primarily on the kicking, non-kicking, and ball areas just before football contact as compared to the novices who fixated on the arms, hips, and the trunk.
The expert goalkeepers used a more efficient search strategy involving fewer fixations of longer duration to less disparate areas of the body.
A more recent study by the same researchers (Savelsbergh GJ, Williams AM, Van der Kamp J, Ward P, 2005) examined the success rates of expert goalkeepers in stopping penalty kicks. They found that the successful experts were more accurate in predicting the height and direction of the penalty kick, waited longer before initiating a response and appeared to spend longer periods of time fixating on the non-kicking leg compared with the non-successful experts.
These studies have useful impications for training goalkeepers.

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