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Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181df7fbf
Original Research

Standing Long-Jump Performance is Enhanced when Using an External Focus of Attention

Porter, Jared M1; Ostrowski, Erik J1; Nolan, Russell P1; Wu, Will F W2

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Abstract

Porter, JM, Ostrowski, EJ, Nolan, RP, and Wu, WFW. Standing long-jump performance is enhanced when using an external focus of attention. J Strength Cond Res 24(7): 1746-1750, 2010-Several experiments have demonstrated that focusing a performer's attention externally (i.e., on the effects of a movement) rather than internally (i.e., on specific parts of the body) enhances performance when the task requires object manipulation (i.e., throwing a ball to a target). The purpose of this experiment was to investigate if whole-body movements (e.g., standing long jump), without object manipulation, are influenced by an internal or external focus of attention. After participants (n = 120) completed a short warm-up, they were assigned to either an internal (INT) or external (EXT) focus of attention group. All participants completed 5 standing long jumps separated by a 2-minute seated rest. Before each jump, participants in the INT condition were read the following instructions: “When you are attempting to jump as far as possible, I want you to focus your attention on extending your knees as rapidly as possible.” Participants in the EXT condition were read the following instructions: “When you are attempting to jump as far as possible, I want you to focus your attention on jumping as far past the start line as possible.” An independent samples t-test revealed a significant difference (p = 0.003) in the average distance jumped between the EXT (187.37 ± 42.66 cm) group and the INT group (177.33 ± 40.97 cm). The results suggest that providing instructions that focus attention externally enhances standing long-jump performance compared with instructions that focus attention internally. This finding is valuable for strength and conditioning professionals that use jumping tests to evaluate performance.

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association

 

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