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Figure 4. Graph adapted from Wulf et al., 2002. Accuracy scores of the Int— 33, Int—100, Ext—33 and Ext—100 groups.
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As the results show in Figure 4, there was clear evidence of an immediate effect on performance outcome and learning experienced by both external-focus feedback groups. Generally, providing information about a function solution (goal-relevant information) accelerates learning more efficiently than providing information about “correct” means to achieve a solution (i.e., on one of the possible pathways to achieve a functional solution). Furthermore, the interaction between feedback frequency and attentional focus resulted in more effective performance during both practice and retention in the group receiving reduced (33% of trials) external-focus feedback relative to the constant (100% of trials) external-focus feedback group. These data indicated that receiving external focus feedback once in every three trials is as functional for learning as receiving external focus feedback on every trial. These findings highlight the detrimental effects that an internal focus on body parts and movement dynamics has on learning and performance in a dynamic sport such as football. Furthermore, these findings support the idea that discovery learning affords the player more opportunity to explore other potentially important external sources of information using an external focus of attention as opposed to providing the player with an internal focus of attention.