Evidence of non-compliance with instructions in attentional focus research

  • Phillip G. Post New Mexico State UniversityLas Cruces, NM, USA - ppost@nmsu.edu
  • João A. C. Barros California State University Fullerton, CA, USA.
  • Craig A. Wrisberg University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.
Keywords: motor learning, attention, movement form, throwing

Abstract

The present study examined the effects of focus instructions on the performance and learning of the standing discus throw and determined the extent of adherence to focus instructions by obtaining post-experimental verbal reports from participants. Twenty-four male college students were randomly assigned to external, internal and control focus conditions. They were given basic instruction on the throwing technique and presented a video model of the correct form. Focus instructions dealt with “trailing the movement with the discus” (external), “leading the movement with the hip” (internal), or “doing your best” (control). Four blocks of ten throws were performed in acquisition and one block of ten throws was performed in a 24hr retention test. The last two throws of each block were videotaped and measured for later analyses. The results indicated no differences between conditions on form or distance scores. However, the interviews indicated that participants in the internal and external focus groups used a combination of internal and external focus cues during acquisition and retention. These findings corroborate those of Maxwell and Masters (2002) and Poolton, Maxwell, Master, and Raab (2006) that showed learners used internal and external attentional focus cues interchangeably. 

Section
Research Articles