Externalising focus of attention during execution and preceding internal reflection enhances squat jump performance

Connor, J., Doma, K., Brice, S., and Leicht, A. (2019) Externalising focus of attention during execution and preceding internal reflection enhances squat jump performance. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22 (2). S81-S81.

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Introduction: Previous research on movement instructions has repeatedly demonstrated that an external focus of attention during performance is superior when compared to an internalised focus of attention. This has led to the advocation of instructional approaches, such as analogies, that go about reorganising movement by emphasising the movement effects (e.g. explode up like a rocket), rather than more direct instructions, which address the specific mechanics of the movement. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact on performance when individuals were provided with instructions that emphasized an internal focus of attention just prior to performing an action, before switching to an external focus of attention during the action.

Methods: Thirteen participants were invited to participate in a series of maximal effort squat jumps, with 60 secs rest between jumps, conducted in a randomised cross-over design. Jump performance was measured using a force platform to obtain kinematic measures. The three instructional conditions were: watching a video of previous jumps followed by an analogy instruction to focus on during the jump (EXT + INT); an analogy to focus on during the jump (EXT); and, to focus on the forceful extension of their feet and knees during the jump (INT).

Results: One-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed that maximal jump height, peak power and average work were significantly greater in jumps during the combined EXT + INT (30.8 ± 7.5 cm; 3835 ± 1046 W; 621 ± 145 J) and the EXT (29.7 ± 6.7 cm; 3771 ± 1023 W; 603 ± 129 J) condition, compared with the INT condition (26.9 ± 6.3 cm; 3532 ± 847 W; 565 ± 128 J).

Discussion: These findings support the large body of work demonstrating externalised focus of attention is beneficial during performance. Interestingly, reflecting internally on the movement prior to performance did not negatively impact the subsequent performance; albeit when participants were also asked to focus on an analogy during the action. This suggests coaches and practitioners may address technical deficiencies in a movement without comprising on subsequent performance. Given these results on acute performance, further examination is required to examine the efficacy of such EXT + INT approaches during more long-term learning-based interventions.

Item ID: 62377
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1878-1861
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Additional Information:

2019 ASICS SMA Conference, Novotel Twin Waters, 23rd – 26th October

Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2020 03:20
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110603 Motor Control @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 100%
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