Attentional Focus in Motor Skill Learning: Do Females Benefit from an External Focus?

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • 2 Technical University of Munich, (Germany)
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $41.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $55.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $79.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $105.00

Recently, researchers in the motor learning area have shown that instructions to direct the learner’s attention to their body movements (i.e., induce an internal focus) – such as those typically used in applied settings – are less effective than instructions directing attention to the movement effects (i.e., inducing an external focus). Under the assumption that females tend to be more concerned about performing a movement correctly than males, who might be more inclined to focus on the outcome of their actions, the purpose of the present study was to examine whether females would benefit more from external-focus instructions than males. Female and male high-school students practiced a soccer instep kick with instructions that either induced an internal or external focus of attention. Subsequent retention (stationary ball) and transfer (moving ball) tests without instructions were performed to assess learning. The female group that was given internal-focus instructions during practice showed a greater performance decrement from retention to transfer than all other groups. This provides support for the view that the type of attentional focus induced by instructions might be particularly relevant for females, and that females might show greater learning advantages when provided with external-focus instructions.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 273 236 13
Full Text Views 10 9 1
PDF Downloads 8 8 2