Motriz: Revista de Educação Física
On-line version ISSN 1980-6574
RIED, Bettina et al. Verbal instruction: requesting an attentional focus does not ensure compliance and better performance. Motriz: rev. educ. fis. [online]. 2012, vol.18, n.3, pp. 449-455. ISSN 1980-6574. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1980-65742012000300005.
The purposes of this study were to investigate a) the effect of redundant and non-redundant instruction on external focus of attention adoption, b) the effect of adopting an external focus of attention on performance in a front crawl swimming task, and c) the effect of redundancy in the wording of a verbal instruction on the above variables. 43 college students (m/f) aged 17 to 46 swam 25 m crawl at maximum speed, once under each of three conditions: without focus instruction (SF), following a focus instruction (CF) and a redundant focus instruction (CFR), in counterbalanced order. For focus adoption control, after completing the task participants were asked about what they had focused on while swimming. As a measure of performance, time and number of strokes were taken and the stroke index was calculated. The results showed that under redundant focus instruction (CFR) condition, 42 % failed to adopt the attentional focus as asked, and following focus (CF) instruction, 23 %. Under CF condition, the frequency of participants that adopted the focus was higher than of those who did not. Performance did not differ significantly among the three conditions (p>0,05). These findings stress the need of manipulation checks in attentional focus research, regarding both performance and motor learning efficiency, as well as the need for further investigation into the relation between instruction extension and performance.
Keywords : Attention; Psychomotor performance; Task performance and analysis.