Sports Psychology
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Focus & Concentration in Sports

Focus occurs before Concentration
     There are five FOCUS tips can help you concentrate better -- whether you're working in a busy office, studying at school, sitting in a meeting, or trying to finish a project.

     There are two types of people - those who have learned how to work through frustration, and those who wish they would have taken the time to have learned not to given up when they first experience frustration.

F = Five More Rule   If you're in the middle of a task and tempted to give up - push on and do FIVE MORE before you stop.

O = One Thing At a Time  Overcome perpetual preoccupation by assign each single task with start and stop time parameters so you can give your undivided attention to your top priority task.

C = Conquer Procrastination  Do you putting off a task or project you're supposed to be working on because you don't feel in the "mood"?  Before you postpone a responsibility ask yourself, "Do I have to do this? Do I want it done so it's not on my mind? Will it be any easier later?" Those three questions can should provide the incentive to mentally apply yourself if you face up to the fact the job project or task isn't going away. Delay in starting will only add to the guilt and make process even more onerous without accomplishing any real progress.

U = Use Eyes as an Aperture of Camera and your Mind as the Data Storage
Most of the time, our eyes are "are absorbing information in a panarama mode" and our brain concentrating on one or more "focus points." This process is called "multi-tasking" as our brain diverts processing power between handling automatic tasks and those that require conscious decision making skills. This process lowers how efficiently we perform any single individual tasks and result in serious operating errors.

S = See It As If For the First or Last Time  We waste valuable time when we daydream or allow our mind to wander aimlessly everywhere, but never stopping to fully investigate and see your surrounding as if it is the first or last time.

Source Alternative Medicines

Components of Concentration
       The two most common questions people have are "How can I focus more effectively" and "When I lose focus, how can I get it back quickly?"

       There are four interrelated components that define concentration:
  • Width - The width of scope of our attention can vary from a broad perspective, where you process a large amount of information and various sources to a narrow perspective, where only a limited amount of information from reliable source is available.
  • Direction - There are occasions when it is necessary to selectively filter external events in order to focus your attention on an internal processing of data. At other times it is more appropriate to concentrate on focusing on external events that are constantly changing in real time.
  • Intensity - Our ability to concentrate can vary in intensity from very weak to very intense. The length of concentrate can vary from very brief to extended periods of time.
  • Duration - The more intense the concentration, the shorter the length of time it is possible to maintain the focus at the same level of intensity before mental fatigue causes the ability to focus to decline and eventually stop.
Note: It is not possible to concentrate both broadly and narrowly at the same time. It also is not possible to concentrate internally and externally at the same time.

External pressure produces a state of emotional distress to increase. This may cause a reliance we tend to rely on our personal concentration bias. This can be a distinctive disadvantage if the bias is inappropriately applied to the specific demands of the existing situation.

Shifting Gears requires practice
       There are instances where a broad focus of attention is appropriate and others when we need to shift our attention to a restricted number of a essential thoughts, facts or concepts,  It takes practice to master the ability to shift from a broad to narrow focus and concentration. The same is true when it is necessary to shift back again. and back again. At the beginning there may be irrelevant thoughts that can get intermixed which can negatively affect both your decision making skills and your decisions/reactions.

       The importance of mental skills are acknowledged as being very important to effective multitask  when performing complex skills such as driving, flying aircraft, etc.  Develop the ability to focus,  control that focus, and to develop other mental skills (i.e. visual scanning ability and mental processing speed and accuracy) are acquired skills that require practice to learning and continued use to maintain.

Recommended Reading:

Focusing on Concentration - Concentration Skills and Improving Techniques
There four interrelated components that define concentration include: Width, Direction, Intensity, and Duration.

Lack of Concentration and Focus   What can be done to improve their concentration. It seems that lack of concentration is a widespread problem, irrespective of age, sex or country.

References:

Exercises for Better Focus and Concentration Feb. 26, 2008 ... You can find strong powers of concentration in yourself. When you are decisive and sincerely want to excel in your studies

Focus and Flow: How to Achieve Perfect Concentration
 
Blowing Your Concentration

Measuring the Building Blocks of Performance (the TAIS Inventory)   by Dr. Robert M. Nideffer

The ABC's of Concentration in Gymnastics (gymnastics)     by Patrick J. Cohn

Are You Task Focused? Concentration for Sailors (sailing)     by Patrick J. Cohn

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

 
  
Alcohol Abuse
Drug Abuse
Caffeine Use
Nicotine Use
Anxiety 
Response to Stressors
Learning to be Helpless
Depression and Elation
Eating Disorders
Learning Disorders
Stress and Anxiety
Athlete Motivation
Confidence
Consistency
Flow/Peak Performance
Focus & Concentration
Goals and Objectives
Goal Setting
Hypnosis
Leadership
Personal Sabotage
Self Fulfilling Prophecy
Momentum
Motivation

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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