Effects of attentional focus in the Crawl performance: Body positioning and breathing components
The present study followed up on previous findings showing greater movement efficiency when performers adopt an external relative to an internal focus of attention. We used a swimming task to examine if those effects were dependent of the task component. Specifically, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of attentional focus related to breathing and body position on crawl swim performance. Eighteen young adults (20.1 years old; ±3.0) participated in the present study. The task required participants to cover a 16 m swimming crawl, as fast as possible. Participants were asked to “keep body at water line” (external focus) or to “keep your body horizontal” (internal focus), and to “breathe when hand leaves the water” (external focus) or “breathe when head turns sideways” (internal focus). The dependent variable was time spent to cross the swimming pool in seconds and tenths of seconds. Two-way ANOVA (2 focus X 2 components) did not show any significant differences between external and internal focus in both components. The results led to the conclusion that when the focus was related to body position and breathing, the external and internal attentional focus had similar effects on performance of the crawl swim.
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