Thinking about that in/out discussion of the previous posts, I suddenly remembered the New Scientist article on flow that Jim and I had a discussion about some time ago. One of the things discussed in this article was a study which compared expert and novice swimmers:
Novices who concentrated on an external focus - the water's movements around their limbs - showed the same effortless grace as those with more experience, swimming faster and with a more efficient technique. Conversely, when the expert swimmers focused on their limbs, their performance declined (International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, vol 6, p99).
Wulf's findings fit well with the idea that flow - and better learning - comes when you turn off conscious thought. 'When you have an external focus, you achieve a more automatic type of control' she says, ' You don't think about what you're doing, you just focus on the outcome'.