Attentional Focus, Dispositional Reinvestment, and Skilled Motor Performance under Pressure

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 The University of Hong Kong
  • | 2 Brunel University
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Attentional processes governing skilled motor behavior were examined in two studies. In Experiment 1, field hockey players performed a dribbling task under single-task, dual-task, and skill-focused conditions under both low and high pressure situations. In Experiment 2, skilled soccer players performed a dribbling task under single-task, skill-focused, and process-goal conditions, again under low and high pressure situations. Results replicated recent findings regarding the detrimental effect of skill-focused attention and the facilitative effect of dual-task conditions on skilled performance. In addition, focusing on movement related process goals was found to adversely affect performance. Support for the predictive validity of the Reinvestment Scale was also found, with high reinvesters displaying greater susceptibility to skill failure under pressure. Results were consistent with explicit monitoring theories of choking and are further discussed in light of the conceptual distinction between explicit monitoring and reinvestment of conscious control.

Institute of Human Performance, The University of Hong Kong, 111-113 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, SAR China

School of Sport and Education, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, U.K.

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