International Journal of Exercise Science 6(4) : 300-309, 2013. Several previous studied have demonstrated that adopting an external focus of attention (i.e., directing attention towards the result of the movement) improves the performance of a variety of motor skills. The objective of this study was to investigate if increasing the distance of an external focus of attention would further improve standing long jump performance. We hypothesized that as the distance of the external focus increased so would jumping distance. We also hypothesized that when subjects completed jumps in the external focus of attention conditions they would jump significantly further than jumps completed in the baseline condition. Using a within-participant design, college aged students (N = 46) completed two standing long jumps in each of the three experimental conditions. When participants were in the Baseline condition they were instructed to “Jump to the best of your ability.” When participants were in the External-3m and External-5m conditions they were instructed to “Jump as close to the cone as possible.” The cone was placed at a distance of three or five meters away, respectively. Data were analyzed using a repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results showed that trials completed in both of the external focus of attention conditions were significantly further than trails completed in the Baseline condition. Additionally, the analysis revealed that the jump distances completed in the External-3m and the External-5m conditions were not significantly different. The findings of this study suggest that there were limited benefits for extending the distance of an external focus of attention.
Westphal, William and Porter, Jared M.
"Increasing the Distance of an External Focus of Attention has Limited Effects on Standing Long Jump Performance,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 6
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol6/iss4/5