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Samira Moeinirad, Behrouz Abdoli, Alireza Farsi, and Nasour Ahmadi

The quiet eye is a characteristic of highly skilled perceptual and motor performance that is considered as the final fixation toward a target before movement initiation. The aim of this study was to extend quiet eye–related knowledge by investigating expertise effects on overall quiet eye duration among expert and near-expert basketball players, as well as to determine the relative contribution of early and late visual information in a basketball jump shot by comparing the timing components of quiet eye duration (early and late quite eye). Twenty-seven expert and near-expert male basketball players performed the jump shots. Gaze was recorded with the SensoMotoric Instruments eye tracking glasses and shooting performance accuracy was evaluated by scoring each shot on a scale of 1–8. Six infrared cameras circularly arranged around the participants were used to collect the kinematic information of the players. The performance accuracy, gaze behavior, and kinematic characteristics of the participants during the test were calculated. The experts with longer quiet eye duration had better performance in a basketball jump shot compared to the near-experts. Also the experts had longer early and late quiet eye duration than the near-experts. The results revealed a relationship between quiet eye duration and performance. The combined visual strategy is a more efficient strategy in complex far-aiming tasks such as a basketball jump shot.

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Mahin Aghdaei, Alireza Farsi, Maryam Khalaji, and Jared Porter

Much research has been executed to investigate how altering focus of attention impacts performance and feelings of fatigue. Using a within-participant design, the present study examined how an associative and dissociative attentional in addition to an internal and external attentional dimension influenced the running economy of nonprofessional runners. Twelve women (aged 18–30 years old) ran on a treadmill at 70% of their predetermined maximum velocity. Participants ran in four counterbalanced conditions (dissociative-external, dissociative-internal, associative-external, and associative-internal). Average oxygen volume, respiration volume and breathing frequency, heart rate, blood lactate level, and Borg rating of perceived exertion were measured. Our findings revealed when participants adopted a dissociative-external focus of attention, they consumed less oxygen, had lower blood lactate, and a lower rating of perceived exertion compared with trials completed using an associative attention strategy. The findings of this study demonstrate that running economy is improved and feelings of fatigue are lowest when using a combination of a dissociative-external focus of attention.

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Razieh Raeisiyan, Behrouz Abdoli, Alireza Farsi, and Hamidollah Hassanlouei

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of landmarks on learning basketball lay-up in beginners. Twenty-seven females (age = 20.30 ± 0.24 years, height = 164.37 ± 0.53 cm) participated in this study. They were assigned to three groups: no landmark group, colored landmark group, and black and white landmark group. All participants performed basketball lay-up for six sessions. The colored group and black and white group trained with the landmarks on the ground while the no landmark group trained without any landmarks based on a trainer instruction. Posttest was performed at the end of the last session of training and also in the retention test following 72 hr. All trials were assessed through 5-point Likert scales, ranging from 1 (very poor) to 5 (very good). The results showed that using landmarks significantly changed the lay-up pattern; however, these changes were not significant for color and lay-up shot accuracy.

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Behrouz Abdoli, James Hardy, Javad F. Riyahi, and Alireza Farsi

Empirical literature addressing the effectiveness of self-talk for expert performers is lacking. We addressed this shortcoming within the existent literature and examined the comparative effects of instructional and motivational self-talk on basketball free throw shooting accuracy and salient movement kinematics. We recruited 20 professional basketball players to participate in a 2 × 2 pre/post-test experiment. Free throw accuracy and movement patterns were recorded, with the latter subsequently used to calculate elbow–wrist coordination variability. Results indicated superior shooting accuracy and reduced movement coordination variability for instructional self-talk compared to baseline conditions, whereas no differences emerged for motivational self-talk. Findings from the study help practitioners to better guide skilled performers how best to use self-talk; an area in urgent need of further research.

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Ayoub Asadi, Alireza Farsi, Behrouz Abdoli, Esmaeel Saemi, and Jared M. Porter

There were two aims to the present study. First, we sought to investigate how a form of self-controlled practice compared to a well-established strategy of explicitly directing a mover’s attention externally when performing the standing long jump. Those two forms of practice were also compared to conditions in which participants were instructed to focus their attention internally or neutrally (i.e., control condition). Second, we investigated if the skill level of the participants was a factor in the comparison of these two forms of training (i.e., directing attention externally and self-controlled practice). In the External condition, volunteers were told to focus on jumping toward a cone that was placed in front of them at a distance of 5-m. In the Internal condition, participants were told to focus on the extension of their knees. In the Self-control condition, volunteers were allowed to choose a distant target to focus their attention on while executing the jump. Participants also completed jumps in a Control condition in which no explicit instructions were provided. Results demonstrated that both skilled and low-skilled participants jumped significantly farther in the External and Self-control conditions compared to jumps completed in the Control and Internal conditions. The findings of this study demonstrate that providing instructions that direct attention externally, or allowing the participant to choose where to direct their attention, resulted in similar enhancements in jumping performance in both low- and high-skilled jumpers.