Transfer of improved movement technique after receiving verbal external focus and video instruction

Anne Benjaminse, Wouter Welling, Bert Otten, Alli Gokeler

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It is unknown how movement patterns that are learned carry over to the field. The objective was to deter- mine whether training during a jump-landing task would transfer to lower extremity kinematics and kinetics during sidestep cutting.Methods Forty healthy athletes were assigned to the ver- bal internal focus (IF, n = 10), verbal external focus (EF, n = 10), video (VI, n = 10) or control (CTRL, n = 10) group. A jump-landing task was performed as baseline followed by training blocks (TR1 and TR2) and a post-test. Group-spe- cific instructions were given in TR1 and TR2. In addition, participants in the IF, EF and VI groups were free to ask for feedback after every jump during TR1 and TR2. Retention was tested after 1 week. Transfer of learned skill was deter- mined by having participants perform a 45° unanticipated sidestep cutting task. 3D hip, knee and ankle kinematics and kinetics were the main outcome measures.Results During sidestep cutting, the VI group showed greater hip flexion ROM compared to the EF and IF groups (p < 0.001). The EF (p < 0.036) and VI (p < 0.004) groups had greater knee flexion ROM compared to the IF group. Conclusions Improved jump-landing technique car- ried over to sidestep cutting when stimulating an external attentional focus combined with self-controlled feedback. Transfer to more sport-specific skills may demonstrate potential to reduce injuries on the field. Clinicians and practitioners are encouraged to apply instructions that stimulate an external focus of attention, of which visual instructions seem to be very powerful.


  • motor learning
  • injury prevention
  • sport


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