Do Children Benefit External Focus of Attention as Much as Adults? A Motor Learning Study

  •  Somaye Roshandel    
  •  Hamidreza Taheri    
  •  Amir Moghadam    


Recent evidence supports advantages of an external focus of attention on learning motor skills, however, there is a need to retest these finding for children and comparing them with adults. Thus, the purpose of current study was to determine the effect of different attentional focus on learning a motor skill in children and adults. Thirty children (8-12 year) and thirty adults (25-42 years) were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (1) Children external focus of attention (EFA), (2) Children- internal focus of attention (IFA), (3) Adults- External focus of attention (EFA), (4) Adults- internal focus of attention (IFA). Following initial instructions and task demonstration, participants performed 60 darts throwing in six blocks and 24 hours later performed 10 additional throws for retention test. Results revealed that children benefited from EFA and IFA instruction in the same manner, however, adults benefited from EFA more than IFA instruction. Future studies should continue to examine effects of different attentional focus on other skills.

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