Experience level influences the effect of attentional focus on sprint performance

Hum Mov Sci. 2017 Apr:52:84-95. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2017.01.012. Epub 2017 Feb 6.

Abstract

Two experiments evaluated the influence of attentional focus on 10-meter sprint time and start kinetics in a group of collegiate soccer players and highly experienced sprinters. In Experiment 1, the collegiate soccer players were asked to perform 10-meter sprints under an external focus condition, an internal focus condition and a control condition. For the 10-meter sprint time, the results showed that both the external focus and control conditions resulted in significantly faster sprint times than the internal focus condition. There were no significant differences observed between the external focus and control conditions. There were also no significant differences observed across any of the conditions for a select set of kinetic variables. In Experiment 2, the highly experienced sprinters performed the same 10-meter sprint task using the same instructional conditions as in Experiment 1. For the 10-meter sprint time and kinetic variables, there were no significant differences observed across any of the conditions. These results provide new evidence that experience level mediates the influence of attentional focus on sprint performance.

Keywords: Focus of attention; Human performance; Kinetic analysis; Sprinting.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Athletic Performance / psychology*
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Running / physiology*
  • Running / psychology*
  • Soccer / psychology
  • Young Adult