Accuracy of Free Throw Shooting During Dual-Task Performance: Implications of Attentional Disruption on Performance

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jayme Price (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Diane Gill

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to use the dual-task paradigm to examine the effect of a secondary reaction time task on free throw performance and to determine the point of peak attentional demand during the free throw process. Thirty subjects, ranging in age from 18 to 62 years (M = 23.9 + 8.3), with at least two years basketball experience at the high school level comprised the sample. After baseline measures, each subject completed 40 free throw trials. During the free throw, the participant was instructed to respond verbally to a sound stimulus to determine reaction time (RT). The sound stimulus was administered at one of 4 probe position (PP) conditions or was not administered (catch trial condition). Repeated measures ANOVA showed no significant difference in performance as a function of condition (probe position), suggesting that participants were able to keep the free throw as the primary task, assigning it the most attentional weight. Given these results, any increases or decreases in reaction time performance across probe positions could be attributed to an increase or decrease in attentional demand, respectively. A second repeated measures analysis showed a significant difference in reaction time as a function of condition. Tests of simple contrasts showed that reaction time at probe position (PP)1 and PP2 were significantly higher than baseline reaction time. These results suggest that the pre-shot routine (PP1) requires the greatest attentional demand, followed by the first upward motion of the ball.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Attention, Dual-Task Performance, Free Throw
Free throw (Basketball)
Reaction time

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