Utilizing wearable technology in sport allows for the collection of motor behavior data during task engagement. This data can be assessed in real-time or retrospectively. Although enriching the scope of performance data, the consequences of wearable technology on the athlete-user, specifically the cognitive effects, has not been fully investigated, hence the purpose of this study. This qualitative study examines the cognitions of 57 professional baseball players who wore eye tracking technology whilst engaged in batting practice. Their verbal self-reports were framed by temporal context: before-during-after task. Three themes emerged during the pre-task segment: social appearance anxiety, claimed self-handicapping, and curiosity. During the task of batting, verbal behavior contained motivational and instructional overt self-talk while claimed self-handicapping was sustained. The final, post-performance segment was marked by the re-emergence of curiosity from the pre-task period as well as self-evaluation/appraisal. Given the participants were professional athletes, their performance has greater career implications than amateur competitors. Nonetheless, the verbal behavior elicited while wearing eye tracking technology indicates an awareness of the equipment by the user. This study found cognitive effects from wearable technology; more research is required to understand the scope and nature of those effects on cognitive and motor behaviors.
Roberts, C., Tabano, J., & Hunfalvay, M. (2016). Wearing eye tracking technology during batting practice: Assessing the experiences of professional baseball athletes. https://doi.org/10.5923/j.sports.20160603.10