The Effects of Open and Closed Skills on Athletes’ Attention Types
Aida Al-Awamleh

Abstract
Background: Open and closed skills require different instructional training in regard to environment. Typical closed skills include diving, race swimming, and gymnastics, whereas open skills are those that are practiced in the changing world. Multiple cognitive processes are activated during both open and closed motor behavior, such as working memory, speed of information, and attention. Attention especially affects athletes’ memory and cognitive processes. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of skill type (open and closed) and gender on two different attention types (selective and sustained) in athletes. Methods: The study sample consisted of 40 subjects who were divided into three groups: 10 gymnasts (representing closed skills) purposely selected from the Jordan Gymnastics Federation; 10 non-athletes (representing open skills); and 20 fencers (also representing open skills). The Leiter International Performance Scale (Leiter-3) was used to evaluate the two attention types. Results: The results indicated that athletes of both open and closed skills show greater ability in both attention types. Some differences were found regarding types of selective attention (Stroop effect), where the elite open-skills athletes (fencers) scored higher Stroop scores. Moreover, the study revealed gender differences, with females having significantly higher Stroop color congruent and color incongruent stimuli scores than males. However, males in closed skills recorded higher scores on sustained attention. Overall, it seems that skill type strongly influences cognitive function.

Full Text: PDF

Copyright © 2014: www.aijcrnet.com. All Rights Reserved.