Volver a los detalles del artículo El efecto de dos técnicas de control atencional en estudiantes de primaria básica no atletas


The effect of two different attentional focus techniques on elementary non-athletes students

El efecto de dos técnicas de control atencional en estudiantes de primaria básica no atletas

O efeito de duas técnicas diferentes de foco atencional em estudantes da primaria básica não atletas

 

Janfer Fernandez, MS*

fjanfer@yahoo.com

Sp. Osvaldo Leopoldo Fernández**

osvaldolfh@yahoo.com

 

*Bachelor Degree in Physical Education Sport and Fitness

Master Degree in Kinesiology and Sport Science. Florida International University

**Bachelor Degree in Physical Educations Sport Science. Miami Dade Public School

Master in Methodology and theory of training for high performance athletes

Specialist Degree in Cycling Specialist Degree Track and Field

Universidad de las Ciencias de la Cultura Física y el Deporte, en la Havana, Cuba

(EE. UU.)

 

Reception: 06/12/2018 - Acceptance: 02/04/2019

1st Review: 01/01/2019 - 2nd Review: 01/27/2019

 

This work licensed under Creative Commons

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/deed.en

 

Abstract

    The current study aimed to evaluate the duration in response from an external focus control over an internal focus while performing a skier squat, and to know if there is a difference among sexes, Heart Rate, and to identify which of this independent variable predicts better results. For this study, 22 females, and 22 males ranging age 9 to 11 years were randomly selected from a group (65) non-athlete elementary school students. The Accusplit 500 Memory Stopwatch was used to record the time when the students were performing this task. The selected group was divided in two, as group1 “Association Group” (AG) and group 2 the “Dissociation Group” (DG). The time for every non-athlete student was written in the Attentional Focus Data Design Chart (AFDC) and the data was computed in two-way Anova test, using IBM SPSS. In addition, a multiple regression test was executed to determine which variable predicted durability on the task being done. Results demonstrated that there was no significant difference between Association & Dissociation Concentration Techniques. Moreover, Heart Rate was a real prediction of endurance tasks. To conclude, lower heart rates male could perform longer than female and make a real statistical significance difference in this event.

    Keywords: Internal focus of attention. Psychological response. External focus. Concentration. Skier squat. Heart rate.

 

Resumen

    El presente estudio tuvo como objetivo evaluar la duración de la respuesta de un control de foco externo sobre un foco interno mientras se realiza una sentadilla de esquiador, y saber si hay una diferencia entre sexos, frecuencia cardíaca, e identificar cuál de esta variable independiente predice mejores resultados. Para este estudio, 22 mujeres y 22 hombres de edades comprendidas entre 9 y 11 años fueron seleccionados al azar de un grupo (65) estudiantes no atletas de escuela primaria. El Accusplit 500 Memory Stopwatch se usó para registrar el tiempo en que los estudiantes realizaban esta tarea. El grupo seleccionado se dividió en dos, como group1 "Association Group" (AG) y group 2 como "Dissociation Group" (DG). El tiempo para cada estudiante no atleta se escribió en la Tabla de diseño de datos de enfoque atencional (AFDC) y los datos se calcularon en prueba two way Anova test, utilizando IBM SPSS. Además, se ejecutó una prueba de regresión múltiple para determinar qué variable predijo la durabilidad de la tarea que se estaba realizando. Los resultados demostraron que no hubo diferencias significativas entre las técnicas de concentración de asociación y disociación. Por otra parte, la frecuencia cardíaca fue y es una predicción real de las tareas de resistencia. Para concluir, los ritmos cardíacos más bajos pueden funcionar más tiempo que en las mujeres y hacer una diferencia de significancia estadística real en este caso.

    Palabras clave: Foco de atención interno. Respuesta psicológica. Foco externo. Concentración. Sentadilla de esquiador. Frecuencia cardíaca.

 

Resumo

    O presente estudo teve como objetivo avaliar a duração da resposta de um controle de foco externo sobre um foco interno durante um agachamento de esquiador e saber se há diferença entre os sexos, a freqüência cardíaca, e identificar qual variável independente prediz melhores resultados. Para este estudo, 22 mulheres e 22 homens com idades entre 9 e 11 anos foram selecionados aleatoriamente de um grupo (65) estudantes do ensino fundamental não-atletas. O cronômetro de memória Accusplit 500 foi usado para registrar o tempo em que os alunos estavam realizando essa tarefa. O grupo selecionado foi dividido em dois, como grupo 1 “Grupo de Associação” (GA) e grupo 2 o “Grupo de Dissociação” (GD). O tempo para cada aluno não atleta foi escrito no Gráfico de design de dados de foco atento (AFDC) e os dados foram computados no teste Anova de duas vias, usando o IBM SPSS. Além disso, um teste de regressão múltipla foi executado para determinar qual variável previa a durabilidade na tarefa que estava sendo executada. Os resultados demonstraram que não houve diferença significativa entre as Técnicas de Concentração de Associação e Dissociação. Além disso, a frequência cardíaca foi uma previsão real de tarefas de resistência. Para concluir, os menores batimentos cardíacos masculinos poderiam ter um desempenho mais longo que em mulheres e fazer uma diferença estatisticamente significativa nesse evento.

    Unitermos: Foco interno de atenção. Resposta psicológica. Foco externo. Concentração. Agachamento de esquiador. Frequência cardíaca.

 

Lecturas: Educación Física y Deportes, Vol. 23, Núm. 249, Feb. (2019)


 

Introduction

 

    Attentional focus is an important aspect on concentration that must be worked on during the preparation phase-time to maximize its use during the competition. According to Solomon (2010) and Moran, A. (2004), cited by Weinberg and Gould (2011), attentional focus is a concentration of mental effort on sensory or mental events. For a long time, researchers, have investigated the use of attentional focus to enhance performance (Schücker, Knopf, Strauss, & Hagemann, 2014, p. 239). It is true that a lack of attention will eliminate the concentration of every athlete at the easiest situation in a sport event. According to Morgan, Horstman, Cymerman, & Stokes (1983), that’s the reason, investigators have looked for ways to increase concentration by working in internal focus attention which is to focus on relaxing the muscles being worked and breathing technique, or external attentional focus which is to focus on an external stimulus that can distract athletes from the discomfort (Schücker, Anheier, Strauss, Hagemann, & Völker, 2013). From another definition, Morgan, & Pollock (1977), and Marchant, Greig, Bullough, & Hitchen (2011). defined the term as association and dissociation. Based Brick, MacIntyre, & Campbell (2014), Conolly, & Tenenbaum (2010) “Association was regarded as an internal attentional style, turning focus inward and toward bodily sensations, while dissociation is an external attentional style, referred to any thought that serves to distract attention away from internal sensations”. For that reason, our purpose for this study was to evaluate the response from an external focus control over an internal focus while performing a skier squat. So much research has been conducted in the response of internal and external associational focus in endurance athletes and tasks. Ziv, Meckel, Lidor, & Rotstein (2012) worked on the effects of external and internal focus of attention on physiological responses during running. By focusing internally on leg movements and externally on a video, Ziv et al. (2012) got to the conclusion after testing 17 basketball players that no significant differences were found in any of the physiological variables and RPE conditions between the association and dissociation groups. On the contrary, Schücker, Hagemann, Strauss, & Völker (2009) with the intention of testing the effect of attentional focus on running economy recruited 24 well trained long-distance runners to have them assessed on three different sessions. Session one assessed the internal focus on running movement condition. Session two consisted on assessing the internal focus by breathing condition. Finally, the third session assessed the external attentional focus by asking the athletes to focus on a video. Accordingly, Schücker et al. (2009), Agar, Humphries, Naquin, Hebert, & Wood (2016). Physiological measurements taken were VO2, Respiratory-Rate, Respiratory minute volume, HR, and blood lactate. Results showed that external attentional focus generated the lowest oxygen consumption. Schücker et al. (2009) stated that external attentional focus helped athletes’ oxygen economy. Lastly, in a newer study, De la Vega, Rivera, Ruiz-Barquín, Ramos, & Segovia (2016) worked on the idea to determine if the type of attentional focus may have an impact on oxygen consumption at a moderate training intensity. They recruited thirty long distance runners that were tested in 3 sessions: (1) incremental test to record the maximum oxygen consumption, (2) internal focus, and (3) external focus (De la Vega et al., 2016, p. 81). Based on de la Vega et al. (2016) sessions 2 and 3, were performed a 55-min treadmill run at a speed corresponding to their individual ventilatory threshold 1 (VT1). Participants focused on breathing process by counting sets of seven exhalations for internal attention and were asked to focus on a color-word interference presentation for external attention. Results demonstrated that “When workload is controlled at a moderate intensity the attentional focus manipulation has no effect on running performance” (De la Vega et al. 2016, p. 84; Schücker, Knopf, Strauss, & Hagemann, 2014; Morgan, Horstman, Cymerman, & Stokes, 1983). Since this topic shows a variance in response, the aim of this research was to evaluate the duration in response from an external focus control over an internal focus while performing a skier squat, and to know if there is a difference among sexes, Heart Rate, and to identify which of this independent variable predicts better results.

 

Methods

 

Participants

 

    For this study, 22 females, and 22 males ranging age 9 to 11 years were randomly selected from a group (65) non-athlete elementary school students. The female group had the following characteristics: age, M = 10.5 years (1.3); weight, M = 45.5 (12.81); height, M = 155.6 cm (4.1). The male group had the following characteristics: age, M = 10.21 years (2.3); weight, M = 46.1 (10.1); height, M = 154.4 cm (5.6). Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two groups (n=11). We needed non-athletes, since athletes tend to push the limits to finish a contest. Our approach to control this variable was to check with physical education coach the name’ list of those girls and boys that participate in school sports’ teams, and those that participate in private sport clubs and excluded them from the study.

 

Instrument

 

    To perform this study, we used the Accusplit 500 Memory Stopwatch. This chronometer allows to record the finish time on any participants and allow the seconds and minutes to go until the last participant is over. The Accusplit 500 Memory Stopwatch is an excellent resource to high school coaches to use when recording big groups of students like the classroom sizes in South Florida. To measure Heart Rate, we used Polar RS800 monitors.

 

Procedures

 

    The task from this experiment was a skier isometric squat. We selected the football field to perform this research that just lasted 10 to 15 minutes. The first thing we did was to teach the skier squat to the two groups together. Secondly, we separated them as group1 “Association Group” (AG) and group 2 the “Dissociation Group” (DG) in two different locations. Instructions for AG groups were as follow: “As you, the task you are to complete is an endurance exercise. During most endurance tasks, like running a marathon, long distance swimming, or cycling, you must experience a certain amount of pain and discomfort. These decreases your ability to keep going and make a maximal effort to finish. Recent research with world class marathon runners, however has suggested a technique that may be useful in increasing performance by decreasing the discomfort you experience in an endurance event. This technique involves associating with or being aware of discomfort you feel during the exercise, and then coping with it using relaxation. Like this, when you begin your exercise (Skier Squat), concentrate and narrow your attention to only those parts of the body that are feeling tension and discomfort. Focus on internal on internal feeling and breathing relaxation. As you feel the pain, increase the relaxation of your muscle that are in pain. When you cannot hold it anymore, raise your hand”. Let’s begin.

 

    The instructions for the DG was the followings: “As you do the task, you are to complete is an endurance exercise. During most endurance tasks, like running a marathon, long distance swimming, or cycling, you should experience a certain amount of pain and discomfort. These decreases your ability to keep going and make a maximal effort to finish. Recent research with world class marathon runners, however has suggested a technique that may be useful in increasing performance by decreasing the discomfort you experience in an endurance event. This technique involves dissociation or cutting yourself from the pain or tension that you feel from the muscles being worked out. This requires you to think about other things to take your mind off any discomfort you feel. While performing your skier squat, we want you to do this. For example, now, focus on things other than the squat. Make up a story, think about it, visualize it as clear as you can, by describing in your mind every detailed. You can use a past event from your life, like a birthday party, your family, friends, a movie, everything you want". Now, let’s begin.

 

Design and analysis

 

    For us to track and record any time from the participants, we used an Attentional Focus Data Design Chart (AFDC). The time was written down in the chart as participants were finishing and receiving their measurements. Once both groups were done, we computed two way Anova test, using IBM SPSS, to determine if any different in task’s durations exists between the two groups, and any difference in sexes. At the end, a multiple regression test was executed to determine which variable predicted durability on the task being done.

 

Results

 

Table 1. Shows the results obtained after the assessment for both groups. Descriptive Statistics

Dependent Variable: Recall

Condition

Sex

Mean

Std. Deviation

N

Association

male

56.2555

16.71179

11

female

50.2018

22.30743

11

Total

53.2286

19.48212

22

Dissociation

male

58.7745

14.61029

11

female

42.1145

12.42516

11

Total

50.4445

15.74349

22

Total

male

57.5150

15.37213

22

female

46.1582

18.09996

22

Total

51.8366

17.56111

44

 

 

Figure 1

 

    Levene’s test of variance showed no violation by having an F value of.360 and a significant value of.782>than.05. So, the assumption of equal variance was not violated. Tests between subject effects showed a degree of freedom 1 with an error of 40 and having an f value of 1.08 had an insignificant value of.305, which is > than alpha.05. This means that there is not good interaction effect. Gender had an f value of 4.95 with a significant value of.032 < than alpha, which demonstrate significant difference between them. In a second Two way Anova tests, we could see the difference among ages effect taken as well.

 

Table 2. Shows the results obtained after the assessment for both conditions, comparing the three age groups. Descriptive Statistics

Dependent Variable: Recall

Condition

Age

Mean

Std. Deviation

N

Association

9

61.6283

23.08345

6

10

48.7740

20.02464

10

11

52.2533

14.62894

6

Total

53.2286

19.48212

22

Dissociation

9

52.9543

18.22870

7

10

47.9913

18.59556

8

11

50.7386

10.78491

7

Total

50.4445

15.74349

22

Total

9

56.9577

20.20937

13

10

48.4261

18.83702

18

11

51.4377

12.16322

13

Total

51.8366

17.56111

44

 

    The mean display among the three ages do not show any differences among them. Tests between subject effect demonstrated to have a degree of freedom of 5 with total error of 38 and having an f value of.492 had an insignificant value of.780, which is > than alpha.05. This means that there is not good interaction effect. Age with degree of freedom of 2 and an f value of.912 with a significant value of.410 > than alpha.05, demonstrated not significant difference between them.

 

    However, to know which variable predicted durability in the task, we analyze the result of the multiple regression test being performed. Our overall model with the three-independent age, heart rate, and sex successfully predicts the dependent variable performance which is indicated by F-value of 2.739 (p<0.01) and R-square of 0.219 (p<0.01). When we look at the contribution of each independent variable, heart rate is a significant predictor in this model. The coefficient of heart rate, with significant value of.039, had a B= (2.25) is significant (t=2.132, p<0.05), and this is also verified by the significant Pearson’s Coefficient between heart rate and final performance (r =.354 (p<0.05). The other independent variables, age and sex are not significant.

 

Table 3. Shows the result of the Multiple regression test. Coefficients 

Model

Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized Coefficients

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

1

(Constant)

-163.752

128.514

 

-1.274

.210

Condition

-2.580

4.913

-.074

-.525

.603

sex

-8.902

5.046

-.256

-1.764

.086

Heart Rate

2.250

1.056

.312

2.132

.039

age

-3.539

3.216

-.157

-1.100

.278

a. Dependent Variable: Recall

 

Conclusion

 

    However, to know which variable predicted durability in the task, we analyze the result of the multiple regression test being performed. Our overall model with the three-independent age, heart rate, and sex successfully predicts the dependent variable performance which is indicated by F-value of 2.739 (p<0.01) and R-square of 0.219 (p<0.01). When we look at the contribution of each independent variable, heart rate is a significant predictor in this model. The coefficient of heart rate, with significant value of.039, had a B= (2.25) is significant (t=2.132, p<0.05), and this is also verified by the significant Pearson’s Coefficient between heart rate and final performance (r =.354 (p<0.05). The other independent variables, age and sex are not significant.

 

    Our findings support the current evidence about concentration. There is no significant difference between Association & Dissociation Concentration Techniques. Based on Gray (2015) the intensity of the task being evaluated must be higher enough that the researchers can really compare the usability of the conditions being applied. Also, they may be used on multiple scenarios depending on specific goals, settings, and preferences. As it was demonstrated Heart Rate is a real prediction of endurance tasks. Based on the work from Schücker, Anheier, Strauss, Hagemann, & Völker (2013), and Schücker, Knopf, Strauss, & Hagemann (2014), by having lower heart rates male could perform longer than female and make a real statistical significance difference in this event. Moreover, it is important to recognize that children tested were in the time of puberty, before Peak Height Velocity. According to Ziv, Rotstein, Lidor, & Meckel (2013) when these changes occur in childhood, girls experience a greater fat deposition in their bodies than male counterparts. This makes it even harder for them to perform task of long-duration, since they hate to put a lot of effort to perform the task (Field, & Steinhart, 1992, p. 24). One limitation we had was that we did not measure body mass index (BMI), or other indicator of fat mass, and lean mass. It is important to assess BMI, or lean body mass before the test, to control for fat mass since the beginning of the research.

 

References

 

    Agar, C., Humphries, C. A., Naquin, M., Hebert, E., & Wood, R. (2016). Does Varying Attentional Focus Affect Skill Acquisition in Children? A Comparison of Internal and External Focus Instructions and Feedback. Physical Educator, 73(4), 639-651.

 

    Brick, N., MacIntyre, T., & Campbell, M. (2014). Attentional focus in endurance activity: new paradigms and future directions. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 7, 106–134.

 

    Conolly, C., & Tenenbaum, G. (2010). Exertion-attention-flow linkage under different workloads. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 40, 1123–1145.

 

    De la Vega, R., Rivera, O., Ruiz-Barquín, R., Ramos, J. J., & Segovia, J. C. (2016). ¿Afecta la focalización interna realmente en el rendimiento de carrera? Aproximación experimental hacia el efecto de la focalización atencional. / Does an internal focus really affect running performance? An experimental approach to the effect of attentional focus. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 16(2), 77-86.

 

    Field, L., & Steinhart, M. (1992). The relationship of internally directed behavior to self-reinforcement, self-esteem, and expectancy value for exercise. American Journal of Health Promotion, 7, 21–27.

 

    Gray, R. (2015). Differences in Attentional Focus Associated with Recovery from Sports Injury: Does Injury Induce an Internal Focus? Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 37(6), 607-616.

 

    Marchant, D. C., Greig, M., Bullough, J., & Hitchen, D. (2011). Instructions to Adopt an External Focus Enhance Muscular Endurance. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 82(3), 466-473.

 

    Moran, A. (2004). Sport and exercise psychology: A critical introduction. London: Routledge.

 

    Morgan, W.P., Horstman, D.H., Cymerman, A., & Stokes, J. (1983). Facilitation of physical performance by means of a cognitive strategy. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 7(3), 251–264.

 

    Morgan, W.P., & Pollock, M.L. (1977). Psychologic characterization of the elite distance runner. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 301, 382–403.

 

    Schücker, L., Anheier, W., Strauss, B., Hagemann, N., & Völker, K. (2013). On the optimal focus of attention for efficient running at high intensity. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, 2, 207–219.

 

    Schücker, L., Hagemann, N., Strauss, B., & Völker, K. (2009). The effect of attentional focus on running economy. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(12), 1241–1248.

 

    Schücker, L., Knopf, C., Strauss, B., & Hagemann, N. (2014). An internal focus of attention is not always as bad as its reputation: How specific aspects of internally focused attention do not hinder running efficiency. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 36, 233–243.

 

    Solomon, G. (2010). The assessment of athletic ability at the junior college level. International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, 53, 37–46.

 

    Weinberg, R, S. Gould, D. (2011). Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Champaign: Human Kinetics

 

    Ziv, G., Meckel, Y., Lidor, R., & Rotstein, A. (2012). The effects of external and internal focus of attention on physiological responses during running. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 3, 620–627.

 

    Ziv, G., Rotstein, A., Lidor, R., & Meckel, Y. (2013). The effectiveness of attentional instructions on running economy at a submaximal velocity. Kinesiology, 45, 147–153.


Lecturas: Educación Física y Deportes, Vol. 23, Núm. 249, Feb. (2019)

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