ATTENTION! No, not you…….But the subject itself. How is it applied to sports and individual performance? Anyone interested in either should pay attention to this.
What is it?
Attention is your ability to attend to inside our outside stimuli. It can be focused or divided
Focus is your ability to direct your attention to one selected stimulus
Concentration is your ability to sustain focus on one thing for a prolonged period of time
Ever noticed somebody slow down,veer to the side, trip or stumble whilst talking on the phone?
It has been shown that attention is required for simple task such as walking. If that attention is dual tasked / divided between walking and say doing something such as solving a problem (e.g 100-7, recurring) it is easy to see that something as automatic as gait can be significantly affected.
It is the degeneration of the frontal lobe and the lower capacity of attention in the elderly person which is most often the reason they become a falls risks.
Now place the sports person in a position where instead of walking they are running. With 8 other people running around them, coming at different speed and from different angle. Some are there team, some are other teams colours. They must take control of a loose ball, dodge 3 players, then pass the ball to another player of their colour.
This becomes a problem solving case as is the maths example, but at a much higher demand because there is running instead of walking, and there is so much extra sensory processing integration and creative problem solving involved.
NOW you can imagine if that person’s gait significantly changes when walking and dual tasking how well do you think that person will perform with the higher demand? An error is eminent!
A clouded mind has poor attention and a decreased capacity to divide attention amongst tasks, which from day to day leads to fatigue and frustration. Improve ATTENTION and sensory integration skills and problem solving (i.e ability to create a genius play) becomes better, errors become less probable, wins become more probable. SIMPLE as that.