Attentional focus in endurance sports has been found to largely affect performance. To deal with discomfort, fatigue, and pain associated with endurance performance under pressure, athletes tend to direct attention to both internal (e.g., bodily) sensations and external (e.g., environmental) stimuli. The purpose of this study, framed within the multi-action plan (MAP) model, was to examine whether different levels of action monitoring through external or internal focus of attention could influence endurance performance. Action monitoring has been conceptualized as awareness of the current experience without necessarily influencing the course of action or disrupting automated motor processes. Thirty-two male participants (M-age = 29.12 years, SD = 6.12 years) were engaged in a treadmill, time-to-exhaustion running task across seven visits to the laboratory (i.e., task familiarization, baseline, four experimental conditions, and follow up). Assessment involved performance (i.e., time to exhaustion), oxygen uptake ((V)over dotO(2)), blood lactate levels, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and perceived arousal and hedonic tone. Across four visits, participants were prompted to use the four attentional strategies (one per session) deriving from the interaction of low/high conscious monitoring level by external/internal attention focus in a counterbalanced experimental design. Repeated measures analysis of variance did not yield significant results in any variable of the study, performance included. Consistent with predictions of the MAP model, study findings showed that participants were able to attain same performance levels irrespective of whether they used a high or low level of action monitoring through an external or internal focus of attention. Findings suggest practical indications to help athletes deal with stress in endurance sports.

Action monitoring through external or internal focus of attention does not impair endurance performance

Vitali, Francesca
;
Tarperi, Cantor;Schena, Federico;
2019-01-01

Abstract

Attentional focus in endurance sports has been found to largely affect performance. To deal with discomfort, fatigue, and pain associated with endurance performance under pressure, athletes tend to direct attention to both internal (e.g., bodily) sensations and external (e.g., environmental) stimuli. The purpose of this study, framed within the multi-action plan (MAP) model, was to examine whether different levels of action monitoring through external or internal focus of attention could influence endurance performance. Action monitoring has been conceptualized as awareness of the current experience without necessarily influencing the course of action or disrupting automated motor processes. Thirty-two male participants (M-age = 29.12 years, SD = 6.12 years) were engaged in a treadmill, time-to-exhaustion running task across seven visits to the laboratory (i.e., task familiarization, baseline, four experimental conditions, and follow up). Assessment involved performance (i.e., time to exhaustion), oxygen uptake ((V)over dotO(2)), blood lactate levels, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and perceived arousal and hedonic tone. Across four visits, participants were prompted to use the four attentional strategies (one per session) deriving from the interaction of low/high conscious monitoring level by external/internal attention focus in a counterbalanced experimental design. Repeated measures analysis of variance did not yield significant results in any variable of the study, performance included. Consistent with predictions of the MAP model, study findings showed that participants were able to attain same performance levels irrespective of whether they used a high or low level of action monitoring through an external or internal focus of attention. Findings suggest practical indications to help athletes deal with stress in endurance sports.
2019
action monitoring; attentional focus; fatigue; hedonic tone; multi-action plan model; endurance
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/993618
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