Quiet eye training expedites motor learning and aids performance under heightened anxiety: The roles of response programming and external attention

Authors


  • The authors would like to thank Dr. David McIntyre for his assistance with the kinematic and physiological recording equipment and data analysis software. Furthermore, the authors thank the undergraduate students involved in the project for their help with participant recruitment and data collection.

Address correspondence to: Lee Moore, Sport and Health Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, St. Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom EX1 2LU. E-mail: lm267@exeter.ac.uk

Abstract

Quiet eye training expedites skill learning and facilitates anxiety-resistant performance. Changes in response programming and external focus of attention may explain such benefits. We examined the effects of quiet eye training on golf-putting performance, quiet eye duration, kinematics (clubhead acceleration), and physiological (heart rate, muscle activity) responses. Forty participants were assigned to a quiet eye or technical trained group and completed 420 baseline, training, retention, and pressure putts. The quiet eye group performed more accurately and displayed more effective gaze control, lower clubhead acceleration, greater heart rate deceleration, and reduced muscle activity than the technical trained group during retention and pressure tests. Thus, quiet eye training was linked to indirect measures of improved response programming and an external focus. Mediation analyses partially endorsed a response programming explanation.

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