Year of Publication

2014

Date of Thesis

12-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Exercise and Sport Sciences

Subject Categories

Broad jump; Attention -- Physiological aspects; Psychomotor performance

Abstract

The event of long jump is unique because it allows some athletes to exert an effort that can stand apart and not be influenced by competitors and teammates. Attention focus is an important aspect to the event of long jump as there are many stimuli to attend to in the environment, including the runway, take-off board, jumping mechanics, and the sand pit. The present study investigated how manipulating a distal external focus of attention would affect performance in college-level long jumpers (N = 10; Mage = 19.20 years old). Athletes completed 4 conditions consisting of 3 jumps each. The conditions were Control 1, Treatment 1 (consisted of attending to a low distal target (LDT)), Treatment 2 (involved attending to a high distal target (HDT)), and Control 2. Each athlete completed an attention focus questionnaire at the conclusion of each condition to assess attention focus during each jump. True jump distance, horizontal velocity at take-off, vertical velocity a take-off, take-off angle, and approach velocity were measured for each participant in each jump. Focusing on a HDT did not lead to significantly further jumps (M = 4.58 m) compared to focusing on a LDT (M = 4.58 m) or Control 1 ( M = 4.64 m). Athletes jumped the farthest in Control 2 ( M = 4.74 m), yet commonly reported looking up while jumping. Findings from the present study suggest that focusing on a high above-ground external target may aid in jump performance, but only if the target is self-selected by the athlete and not when instructed to attend to a specific external target. Further research on a larger sample of long jumpers is recommended.

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