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1- School of Physical Education, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo, China , zhlxsdut@163.com
2- Faculty of Applied Health Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
Abstract:   (121 Views)
Background. Previous studies have shown that an external versus the internal focus of attention is an effective and efficient method to improve athleteschr('39') performance under anxious conditions.
Objectives. The current study aimed to assess the effect of the practice with a distinct focus of attention on the penalty kicking performance of adolescent soccer players with different expertise.
Methods. Twenty-four skilled and 24 novice adolescent male soccer players were recruited in the current study. Also, skill-level and age-matched goalkeepers also took part in the study to induce anxiety to the penalty takers. The penalty takers were required to practice penalty kicking toward designated target areas with either an external or internal focus of attention.
Results. The results of the mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that in the post-test, skilled adolescent soccer players demonstrated superior accuracy with an external versus internal focus (p<0.05). In contrast, the novices showed greater consistency with an internal than external focus (p<0.05). Remarkably, the better performance of accuracy in the post-test was not at the cost of kicking velocity (p>0.05).
Conclusion. The current study suggests that an appropriate combination of expertise and instruction type (internal vs. external) is critical for improving the penalty kicking performance of adolescent male soccer players.
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APPLICABLE REMARKS
  • Both skilled and novice soccer players can improve their penalty kicking performance after practice. However, an external focus of attention leads to higher kicking accuracy for skilled players, while an internal focus of attention results in greater kicking consistency for the novice.

Type of Study: Original Article | Subject: Motor Control and its Related Branches
Received: 2020/08/2 | Accepted: 2020/09/17

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