Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of focusing instructions (internal and external) and attention feedback (internal and external) on learning free throwing skills of basketball in children aged 9 to 11 years.
Methods: For this purpose, 70 female students aged 9 to 11 years were selected from District 18 of Tehran and randomly divided into five groups of 14 individuals, including one Control Group (CG), along with four Experimental Groups (EGs) of Internal Attention (EG 1), External Attention (EG 2), Internal attention feedback (EG 3), and External attention feedback (EG 4). After learning some basic instructions and watching the instructional video, the pre-test was performed including a 10-item set (10 blocks). The acquisition phase consisted of two sessions on two consecutive days and each session consisted of 5 blocks of 10 attempts with two minutes of rest between the blocks. Immediate retention test was performed immediately after the acquisition phase and delayed retention test was conducted 48 hours after the last acquisition session. Data analysis was performed using repeated measures one-way Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA), and LSD post hoc test using SPSS software version 20 and Excel at a significant level of P <0.05.
Results: The findings revealed that both attention-grabbing methods improved children's motor functions (P <0.05). In combination of data related to internal and external attention as well as external and internal attention feedback, the findings showed that there were significant differences between the effects of interventions on children's motor skills learning, to the advantage of the external attention feedback (P <0.05).
Conclusion: The present findings in support of the hypothesis of limited practice in order to learn the motor skills of children's basketball free throwing, recommend the use of feedback and attention signs, especially the external ones.