Can paying too much attention ruin performance?October 23rd, 2011 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS
London, Oct 23 (IANS) Paying too much attention to what you’re doing can not necessarily make it work right — in fact it can actually ruin your performance!
“We think when you’re under pressure, your attention goes inward naturally. Suddenly, it means so much, you want to make sure everything’s working properly,” says Rob Gray of the University of Birmingham, the author of the new article.
“And that is exactly when things go wrong.”
Of course, athletes know they should just relax and do their usual thing, but it’s not very helpful to tell someone to just relax, the journal Psychological Science reports.
The goal for scientists, Gray says, is to figure out what actually happens when someone starts paying too much attention to their body, according to a Birmingham University statement.
“Focusing on what you’re doing makes you mess up, but why? How do your movements change? How can we focus on correcting those issues instead of telling you to stop trying so hard?”
The research shows there are particular things that go wrong when someone is under pressure –changing the angle of the club head when putting or throwing with more force. If those things can be identified, a coach could work on the particular problems.
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