• Kate Allgood

Attention and sports performance

Improve your sports performance through better attention

Attention and sports performance is topic looking at the role attention plays in ones ability to perform. Like many things attention is a skill, one that can be developed and trained. The amount of information our brains take in is predominantly comes from our eyes. Approximately 2 billion pieces of information per second enter our brain through our eyes. That’s a lot of information! Our brain can’t meaningfully take all that information in, so it has to be selective with which information it uses.

This is one of the first things that separates elite athletes from the rest. They are really good at selectively paying attention and processing the information that is going to be the most beneficial for them in a moment. In order to do so they actually look at viewing things and take the time to take in the information more so than amateur athletes, who constantly move their eyes to try and take in more information. Elite athlete select what they think they should take in and then use that information more effectively and efficiently. This helps a lot with mental energy and not taxing themselves.

There is a way to train this skill which I go into depth in the video below, which is called a pivot strategy. The more selective you are with what information you take in the better off you will be. Like most things it is quality not quantity that is best. Attention is everything in sports. If you are not focusing on the right thing at the right moment you will under perform. In today’s world this is even more important. Attention is becoming and even more important skill set to have with al the technology we have that is negatively impacting attention and ones ability to sustain their attention over time. Attention along with other cognitive skills has opened up a whole new area of sport psychology where we use technology to our advance to enhance cognitive abilities rather then reduce them. The method I use is through a system called NeuroTracker, with over 20 years of research behind it is one of the most advanced systems of its kind in the world.

No matter what you decide to use, make sure to include training your attention so you can perform how you want when you need to the most, under pressure.