The effect of shifting between internal and external foci of attention on throwing accuracy

Jeremy Lowen


A vast quantity of research has identified the benefits of an external focus on the performance and learning of motor actions. This study aims to isolate the effects that shifting attention between internal and external foci can have on performance. A within subjects design tested the throwing accuracy of 40 undergraduate psychology students in both internal and external focus conditions. Participants threw a tennis ball towards a target with their non-dominant hand over a period of 3 x 2 (counterbalanced) sets of 15 throws. The main effect of focus condition was significant; external focus eliciting higher scores of accuracy. The results are discussed with regards to the Constrained Action Hypothesis in a range of motor activities and performance settings.

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