One of the many factors that influence the performance of any sport is
the concentration . Moreover, this process has become crucially important over the years in order to achieve great sporting success. We are talking about the conquest of championships, medals and world records; athletes who have managed to reach the top of any sport have managed to direct their attention exclusively to the task , avoiding any external distraction.
This enormous importance of focusing on athletes has not gone unnoticed by
sports psychologists, who have tried to understand in depth the different psychological and contextual aspects that influence concentration n , with a view to trying to improve sports performance.
Concentration and sports performance: cause and effect
Having said that, I believe that it must be stressed that concentration is a process that proportionally improves sporting performance, and that therefore
maximizes the chances of success within any discipline . The more concentration you have on any task, the better you will develop it, and therefore get better results.
Concept of concentration
A good definition of concentration can be as follows: it is
the ability of a person to focus his or her attention in a sustained and constant manner over a long period of time, on an activity or task , ignoring external situations or circumstances.
Concentration, then, is mainly a form of selective attention that allows us to process the information we are interested in, ignoring the rest of the external factors or circumstances that surround us. The exact concept is the
focus of attention ; the focusing of all our senses on the task at hand.
Some examples of focus
To try to explain graphically the concept of focus of attention we can use a series of illustrative examples.For example, the footballer who focuses on what he controls; on his ability to get ahead of his opponent in a precise dribble, or on correctly kicking the ball so that that shot ends up in a goal. Or we could also think of the tennis player who focuses his attention on hitting the ball well, or his anticipation of the rival player’s hitting to get to the ball and be able to make a good shot.
In addition, focused attention is commonly assigned a
sports jargon ; phrases like “I played the whole game very concentrated”, “I lost my concentration and couldn’t get it back”, “after the first mistake I lost my concentration” This last one is very common in footballers. In short, recurring phrases in the world of sport that are a clear example that concentration is an aspect that plays a decisive role in sporting competition.
Lack of concentration
Concentration is essential in sport, and its deficit in any individual who practices a sport can cost him/her many mistakes. That is why
the lack of concentration is considered one of the biggest problems of deportation and .
To try to mitigate the harmful effects of lack of concentration in sport, coaches use a number of strategies. Although motivation and activation can be very positive elements for the athlete in maintaining adequate concentration and therefore good performance, technical professionals in the world of sport have found that
the presence of sports psychologists can help to avoid errors due to lack of concentration .
In sports like football,
many sports psychologists work specifically on the consolidation of behaviour patterns that make it easier for the player to remain with all his senses in the game throughout the match. It may seem an easy task, however, to make the footballer understand that in order to maintain his concentration he has to avoid factors such as the performance of the referee, the conditions of the pitch, the weather conditions and in short, several factors that he cannot control, that evade him from his task and distract him, is really complicated.
A widely used strategy is the
visualization or mental rehearsal, a task that consists mainly in the athlete mentally reproducing each step to be performed during the activity, getting to feel those sensations so characteristic when in competition.
When the athlete reaches maximum concentration, he enters what experts call
state of flow, in which the individual is so involved in what he is doing that he keeps his attention undisturbed by any situation or circumstance.
Do not focus solely on concentration
The maximum concentration is reproduced naturally and automatically, without the need to focus our attention on the concentration itself, that is, the task that has become automatic must be executed in such a way that it does not require focusing the attention on each of the steps or elements that make up the task, but rather it must be focused on what is going to happen and let it happen.
In conclusion, it should be clarified that
every kind of sport has its methodology and its progress . Without a doubt, one of the most relevant factors when it comes to improving in any discipline is concentration. Consequently, the knowledge of several strategies that allow us to promote this aptitude will allow any sportsman or woman to achieve better records and results.