European Journal of Experimental Biology Open Access

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Effect of attentional focus of self-talk on anxiety and learning under pressure

Nastaran Parvizi, Afkham Daneshfar and Masoumeh Shojaei

The purpose of present study was to investigate the effect of attentional focus treatment by self-talk on anxiety, before basketball free throw, and transfer of learning to pressure situation. Therefore, 33 novice female students (mean of the age=22±2.1 yr.) and intermediate trait anxiety were selected randomly. The participants were assigned to 3 matched groups according to pretest. The self-talk with internal and external focus groups repeated the words “wrist” and “center of ring”, respectively, before each free throw during 6 sessions (2 blocks of 10 trials in each session). Control group performed the free throws without self-talk. Transfer test was performed 48 hours after the acquisition phase with spectators. Throw accuracy and state anxiety was measured by a 5-point scale and Illinois self-evaluation questionnaire (CASI-2), respectively. Results of repeated measures and mix 2-factor ANOVA did not indicate significant differences between acquisition, transfer, and state anxiety of groups in different phases (p>.05), but the within subjects effect of self-talk with external focus of attention on transfer to pressure situation was significant (p<.05). Therefore, it is not necessary to shift intentional focus by self-talk for anxiety decrement and accuracy of free throw improvement in relative novice basketball players.