EFFECT OF DIFFERENT EXTERNAL ATTENTION OF FOCUS INSTRUCTION ON LEARNING OF GOLF PUTTING SKILL1


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Abstract

Summary.The effect of different sources of external attentional focus on learning a motor skill was assessed in the present study. 30 students (12 men, 18 women) participated voluntarily and were divided, according to type of external focus, into target, club swing, and target-club swing groups. The task was a golf putting skill. The target focus group attended to the target (hole), the club swing focus group attended to the execution of the club's swing, and the target-club swing focus group attended to both. All participants performed 50 trials of the putting skill in the acquisition phase and 10 trials in the 24-hr, delayed retention phase. The dependent variable was the error in the putting skill measured as the distance from the hole to the ball after each strike. Results showed the target-club swing focus group had better scores in the acquisition and retention phases than the other groups. It was concluded that external focus instruction helped the learners to integrate target cue with action cue and is more effective in skill learning than other external-focus instructions. These results support the claims of ecological psychology theorists concerning the effects of external focus of attention.

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