To Be Aware or Not Aware? What to Think about while Learning and Performing a Motor Skill

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Florida
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The effectiveness of three learning strategies on achievement was compared in the learning and performing of a self-paced motor task. More specifically, investigated was the influence of (a) an awareness strategy (to consciously attend to the act and to what one is doing during execution); (b) a nonawareness strategy (to preplan the movement and perform the task without conscious attention to it; “to just do it”); (c) the Five-Step Approach (to systematically ready oneself, image the act, focus attention on a cue, execute without thought, and evaluate the act and the previous steps); and (d) a control condition (to use one’s own approach). Subjects (N = 72) received 250 trials to master a computer-managed ball-throwing task, and 50 more in a dual-task situation. The Five-Step Approach and nonawareness strategies led to the highest achievement, and the three strategies resulted in less radial error in comparison to the control condition.

R.N. Singer, R. Lidor, and J.H. Cauraugh are with the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Florida, 302 Florida Gym, Gainesville, FL 32611.

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