Influence of Attentional Manipulation on Jumping Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Hubert Makaruk, Marcin Starzak, Jared Marak Porter

Enhancing jumping ability can lead to substantial benefits in sports performance and physical activity. Previous studies indicate that directing an individual’s attention externally before the jump is an effective way to improve jumping performance, especially when the standing long jump (SLJ) and vertical jumps (VJs) are performed. To scrutinize reported findings, we systematically reviewed studies that compared the effects of attentional manipulations on jumping performance in adults. Four electronic databases (MEDLINE, Scopus, SPORTSDiscus, and Web of Science) were searched for original research publications. A priori defined inclusion criteria were: (a) participants were healthy adults with a mean age > 18 years, (b) an external (EF) or an internal focus (IF) of attention instruction was used, (c) the study compared an external focus intervention with an internal focus intervention or an external focus with a control (no attentional; CON) intervention or an internal focus intervention with a control intervention, (d) jumping performance was tested, and (e) an immediate effect of focus of attention intervention was evaluated. Of the 380 papers identified, 14 studies were used in 3 part meta-analyses (EF vs. IF, EF vs. CON, and IF vs. CON) that involved 24 comparisons in total. The findings of this analysis revealed that the EF condition displayed superior jumping performance relatively to the IF (p < 0.05) and CON (p < 0.05) conditions. There were no significant (p > 0.05) differences between the IF and CON conditions. These findings suggest that EF instructions should be incorporated into testing procedures when jumping performance is assessed.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2020-0037
Key words
jump testing, external focus of attention, internal focus of attention, standing long jump, vertical jump, instructions

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