Is What You Think What You Get? Optimizing Mental Focus for Technical Performance

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Edinburgh
  • 2 UK Athletics
  • 3 Rugby Football Union (RFU)
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This article considers interesting differences between the mental focus employed by an elite athlete javelin thrower (E1) when contrasted with three international standard javelin throwers (I1, I2, I3). Athletes’ mental focus was recorded in both competition and training using self-report measures. In addition, kinematic analysis through point of release was examined for both categories of athlete. In both conditions, E1 demonstrated lower patterns of movement variability. Interestingly, a contrasting mental focus was recorded among athletes I1, I2, and I3 when compared with athlete E1. Tentative conclusions are drawn concerning the optimum sources of information for athletes before task execution in self-paced athletic events.

MacPherson is with the Scottish Centre for Physical Education, Sport, and Leisure Studies, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ, UK. Collins is with UK Athletics, Solihull, UK. Morriss is with the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Twickenham, TW1 1DZ, UK.

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