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Experts in Sport: Sending opponents the wrong way: Deception in rugby

Anticipation is integral to achieving high-quality performance within sport – how does this apply to rugby and what information can be taken into account to inform decisions during play?

In the latest sports performance episode of the Experts in Sport Podcast, host Dr Stuart McErlain-Naylor is joined by Dr Laurence Warren-Westgate to discuss deception in rugby, methods used in research around anticipation in sport and the effect this has on performance.

Throughout the discussion, the difference in response across a range of experience levels is made explicit. Multiple factors come into play to influence a player’s performance, many of which may be enhanced or obscured to determine specific outcomes.

Conversations around technology used to measure these variables are also featured, allowing researchers to distinguish at what point useful information becomes available within play, and can therefore be acted upon by the opponent.

Dr Laurence Warren-Westgate is an Assistant Professor in Sport, Exercise and Health Psychology at the University of Nottingham. He completed a PhD at Loughborough University with a focus on deception in rugby from a psychological, biomechanical, and motor-control perspective. His current research interests are within the fields of perceptual-cognitive expertise and exercise psychology, with a focus on how individuals perceive and interact with their environment.

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The Experts in Sport podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia with new episodes launched regularly.