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William E. Moore and John R. Stevenson

The concept of trust in performing complex automatic motor skills involves letting go of conscious controlling tendencies often learned during skill acquisition. Theories of motor control provide a framework for automatic selection and execution of movement sequences during skilled performance. Trust is viewed as a psychological skill in which the athlete releases conscious control over movements, thus allowing the automatic execution of the schema that have been developed through training. This paper defines and characterizes trust and its role in the performance of automatic sport skills, with the goal of suggesting a path for applied research concerning trust and sport skills performance.

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William E. Moore and John R. Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is to further illuminate trust as a specific mental skill during performance and to offer a three-phase program for training in trust. Trust is a skill in which athletes release conscious control over movements and allow automatic execution of the motor programs that have been developed through training. The performance goal is to release conscious control and free oneself from fear of mistakes in execution or outcome. Attainment of this goal depends on the quality and quantity of concentration, confidence, and composure necessary to access trust. To better acquire the necessary skills, athletes can benefit from a three-phase training program that provides an education phase, a skills training phase, and a skills monitoring phase. The elements of these phases are described, and example drills are suggested for training concentration, confidence, and composure skills in order to access trust.