Concentration

Concentration, or focus, enables an athlete to devote their full attention to internal and external cues in the sporting environment (4). The ability to focus on the task at hand is among the most important skill for an athlete to attain. Focus is a skill like any other, meaning it can be learned. Dedicating time to practice this skill can yield measurable benefits for sport performance and participation. Distractions in sport are inevitable and can be both internal (e.g., worry, frustration, negative thoughts) and external (e.g., noise from spectators, weather and playing conditions, visual distractions). An athlete who can avoid distractions can enhance their chance of success and personal achievement. Therefore, being able to tune out irrelevant stimuli and focus on what matters to optimize sport performance is essential in an athlete’s quest for excellence (4). Further, emotions, whether they be negative or positive, have the potential to influence sporting behaviours and actions through their effect on an athlete’s focus (1). Research has highlighted how both positive and negative emotions can influence concentration. For example, positive emotions like excitement and happiness are more likely to lead to performance related concentration than negative emotions such as anxiety and anger (5).

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