October 2016

Externally focused instruction boosts jump height regardless of visual input

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Externally focused instruction results in greater jump height than internal focus or no instruction, regardless of whether the jumper’s eyes are open or closed, according to research from the Czech Republic.

Investigators from Palacky University Olomouc assessed maximum jump height in 24 young adults under two vision conditions (full vision and no vision) and three instructional focus conditions (external focus, internal focus, and no focus). Externally focused instruction involved telling participants to concentrate on the ceiling and try to touch it. Internally focused instruction involved telling participants to focus on their fingers and try to bring them up as high as possible.

Regardless of visual condition, the external-focus condition was associated with a significantly higher mean jump height than the other two instructional focus conditions. Overall, full vision was also associated with a significantly higher mean jump height than no vision. However, there was no statistical inter­action between vision and external focus, suggesting the two variables affect jump height independently.

The findings were epublished in September by the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.


Abdollahipour R, Psotta R, Land WM. The influence of attentional focus instructions and vision on jump height performance. Res Q Exerc Sport 2016 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]

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