C. De Jong, M. DeBeliso


Coaches and trainers often use verbal cues to help players improve their sport performance and training quality. The type of verbal instructions implemented by a coach may influence how players execute certain tasks. External and internal focus attention are verbal ques that may help athletes improve performance in various tasks such as running and jumping. Purpose: This study attempted to determine if implementing external focus attention ques (EFAQ) improved standing long jump (SLJ) performance when compared to implementing internal focus attention ques (IFAQ). Methods: Female (n=14) high school soccer players completed three testing sessions where three trials of the SLJ were collected (3 sessions with 3 trials each). Prior to each testing session a dynamic warmup was implemented to prepare the participants for the subsequent SLJ trials. During the initial test session, the coach/investigator provided no attention ques (NQ) prior to the SLJ trials. During the other two testing sessions the coach provided either an EFAQ or IFAQ prior to the SLJ trials. Second and third testing session were carried out in a randomized repeated measures fashion. The testing sessions occurred on three different days at the beginning of the week over three weeks. The best SLJ score from each testing session was used for statistical analysis. A paired t-test was used to compare the SLJ scores between the sessions. Gain scores and effect size (EF) differences between the NQ SLJ scores and the EFAQ and IFAQ conditions were also calculated. Results: The best SLJ scores for the test conditions were as follows: NQ=174.0±17.4, IFAQ=169.1±20.7 and EFAQ=178.2±16.4 (cms). The EFAQ SLJ scores were significantly greater than both the IFAQ and NQ SLJ scores (p<0.05). The IFAQ SLJ scores were significantly less than the NQ SLJ scores (p<0.05). The ES difference and gain score between the EFAQ and NQ were: 0.24 SD and 4.2±7.3 cms. The ES difference and gain score between the IFAQ and NQ were: -0.28 SD and -4.9±10.0 cms. Conclusion: Within the parameters of this study, EFAQ improves SLJ scores when compared to either NQ or IFAQ scenarios. Further, IFAQ appears to degrade SLJ performance when compared to a NQ scenario.


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external focus attention, standing long jump, high school, female, soccer

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