Close Vision in Sport

Space in basketball (and most other objective, goal-oriented sports) is currently conceived as a Euclidean, optic space: the coach draws Xs and Os from a bird's (god's?) eye perspective to delineate and orchestrate the moving bodies on the court; the coach also uses video in a similar fashion to break down the tendencies, successes and failures of self and opponent.

But when ten bodies meet in the enclosed, accelerated space of the basketball halfcourt (and often all may be found within the three-point arc), such remote, optic vision is quite impossible. A close seeing (what Deleuze and Guattari refer to as haptic vision) is necessary in order to process information correctly and determine appropriate movement tactics. It requires one to glaze the eyes over by a fraction and not quite focus on any one object. It also requires the body to "see" in multisensual fashion — for example, by touching other bodies or by listening to their footsteps.

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  1. sportsBabel » Collective Forgetting says:

    [...] is not simply an optic phenomenon. Each person who may have witnessed the basket taking place actually retrieves in an embodied sense [...]