The Influence of The Constrained Action Hypothesis on Agility Tests In Ncaa Division I Soccer Goalkeepers: A Single Subject Design

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Gallagher, James J
ETD; focus; agility; goalkeeper; Sports Sciences; Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies, Electronic Theses & Dissertations, ETDs, Student Research
thesis / dissertation description
Attentional focus is something any athlete must practice to be successful. One concept, the constrained-action hypothesis, suggests that an internal attentional focus could be negative on an athlete, causing them to interfere with their body’s natural movements. For soccer goalkeepers, this could be especially problematic due to the nature of their position and magnification of mistakes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test the constrained-action hypothesis on agility test outcomes in NCAA Division I soccer goalkeepers. It was hypothesized the two agility tests would be completed quicker (decreased times) during an external attentional focus (EAF) than during an internal attentional focus (IAF). Results showed during the first agility tests, the times of most participants decreased using an EAF, while test times using an IAF showed mixed results. In the second test, results again showed the EAF decreased times in most participants while producing mixed results using an IAF. These results suggest than maintaining an external attentional focus could result in more agile and quicker goalkeepers. Further research involving different positional players, goalkeepers from non-soccer sports, different agility tests, and more controllable testing conditions is recommended.