On-line attentional-focus manipulations in a soccer dribbling task: Implications for the proceduralization of motor skills

TitleOn-line attentional-focus manipulations in a soccer dribbling task: Implications for the proceduralization of motor skills
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsFord P, Hodges NJ, Williams AM
JournalJOURNAL OF MOTOR BEHAVIOR
Volume37
Pagination386 - 394.
AbstractA focus of attention on the step-by-step control of a skill has been shown to be detrimental to experts' performance but to have no significant effect on novices' performance (e.g., S. L. Beilock, T. H. Carr, C. MacMahon, & J. L. Starkes, 2002), contrary to the results of manipulations of the direction of attentional focus (e.g., G. Wulf, M. Höss, & W. Prinz, 1998). In previous studies, researchers have not separated the focus of attention from the nature of the instruction provided or the skill level of the participants. In the present experiment, 10 skilled and 10 less skilled soccer players dribbled a ball after receiving instructions directing attention to an internal, skill-relevant feature (foot); an internal, skill-irrelevant feature (arm); or a skill-irrelevant task (word-monitoring). Performance was evaluated in relation to a no-attentional-focus control condition. For skilled performers, an internal focus on the arms and feet interfered with performance. For less skilled performers, an internal, yet skill-relevant, focus of attention (foot) did not degrade performance, whereas attention to the arms and word monitoring had a detrimental effect. No significant differences were observed across the three attentional manipulations when the skilled performers used the nondominant foot. The results generally supported the deautomization of skills hypothesis.
URLhttp://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/00222895.asp
Refereed DesignationRefereed