Visual behaviours of expert padel athletes when playing on court: An in situ approach with a portable eye tracker

Espino-Palma, C., Luis del Campo, V., & Muñoz, D.

Sensors, 23(3), 1-17.

Año 2023


Eye-tracking research has allowed the characterisation of gaze behaviours in some racket sports (e.g., tennis, badminton), both in controlled laboratory settings and in real-world scenarios. However, there are no studies about visual patterns displayed by athletes in padel. Method: The aim of this exploratory case study was to address the visual behaviours of eight young expert padel athletes when playing match games on a padel court. Specifically, their gaze behaviours were examined with an in situ approach while returned trays/smashes, serves, and volleys were performed by their counterparts. Gaze patterns were registered with an SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2 Wireless. Results: The participants’ gaze was mainly focused on the ball-flight trajectory and on the upper body of the opponents because they were the two visual locations with a larger number of fixations and longer fixation time. No differences were found in these variables for each type of visual location when the three return situations were compared, or independently of them. Conclusions: Padel players displayed a similar gaze behaviour during different representative return situations. This visual pattern was characterised by fixating on the ball and some opponents’ upper kinematics (head, shoulders, trunk, and the region of arm–hand–racket) to perform real interceptive actions while playing against them on a padel court.

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Doctor en Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte.
Profesor Titular en la Facultad de Ciencias del Deporte de la Universidad de Extremadura.
Autor de numerosas publicaciones científicas de pádel.