Document Type : Research Paper


1 department of motor behavior univercity of esfahan

2 Isfahan university

3 Faculty member of University of Isfahan


According to Optimal theory, three factors, namely Enhanced Expectancies, Autonomy Support, and External Focus play a key role to facilitate motor performance and learning. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of optimizing performance through consecutive providing of enhanced expectancies, autonomy support and external attentional focus on learning the square-stepping task in children. A number of 24 children (22 girls and 2 boys) with a mean age of 10.16 ± 0.58 were selected through convenience sampling and were randomly assigned to optimized and control groups. All participants performed 36 trials (3×12) during the practice phase. Optimized group participants were then provided a different condition for each of three acquisition blocks in a counterbalanced order. During the retention and transfer phases, they performed 12 trails. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures and one-way analysis of variance were used to analyze the collected data. During the practice phase, there was no significant difference between the mean time of the square-stepping task across consecutive trial blocks in the optimal and control groups, and also performance under EE, AS, and EF conditions was not significantly different in both groups. In addition, results of the retention and transfer tests showed no significant difference between groups. Therefore, it seems that using key factors of the Optimal theory in a sequential manner throughout practice cannot be an appropriate intervention for motor skills learning in children.


Main Subjects

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