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Attention Styles… Mr. P. Leighton Mental Preparation for Physical Activities. Sport Psychology.
Today’s Session… • Understand the importance of a performer focusing on relevant environmental stimuli during an activity. • Discuss the “Inverted U Theory” and how it is important throughout Sports Psychology. • Understand the Cue-utilisation Hypothesis in relevance to this section. • Look at Attentional Styles and how they differ within sport.
Attentional Control… • Attentional control refers to the extent in which a performer can focus his/her awareness on the relevant environmental stimuli during an activity. • Basically- focus on the good and relevant, block out the bad and irrelevant i.e. Happy Gilmore? • Attending to the most relevant cues requires CONCENTRATION. • Maintaining this concentration until the task is complete indicates the performers ATTENTION SPAN. • Concentration or SELECTIVE ATTENTION can be directed by external factors such as.. • STIMULUS INTENSITY. • WARNING CUES.
Cognition and Arousal… • Cognition is the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge, learning and understanding i.e. ABC, how to beat an opponent, strike a ball cleanly. • Arousal is a level of excitement or activation. Generated by the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. • When at low levels? • When at high levels?
“The Inverted U Theory” • Predicts the influence of arousal on the performance of MOTOR SKILL. • This predicts that arousal influences performance. • This is why we can use the “U” for a host of different aspects of Sports Psychology. • However, CUE UTILISATION HYPOTESIS does go further to explain this theory.
Cue-Utilisation Hypothesis: Low Levels of Arousal… • When arousal is low, the perceptual field of the performer widens excessively. • This means that a performer is then open to irrelevant cues i.e. the opinions of the fans? (El-Hadj Diouf) • To focus on the relevant stimuli is difficult and as a result the information processing system is overloaded. • Decision making is then impeded.
Increased Arousal then… • Perception field narrows to the IDEAL WIDTH. • Narrowing allows attention to be given to the most relevant cues. • At OPTIMAL AROUSAL selective attention is fully operational and the capacity to concentrate is maximised. • This is CUE UTILISATION at its best.
Over Arousal above Optimal Threshold… • The perception field is narrowed excessively. • This means that relevant cues can be missed and that the information processing system becomes restricted. • Effective decisions making is again impeded. • Under these conditions the performer panics (where have you heard this before?) • The performer will experience total disorientation of there senses. • This is termed HYPERVIGILANCE.
What doesn’t the theory state? • How the performer can adjust the width and direction of attention in response to varying situations within a sport. • I.e. General play in Rugby, Taking a penalty, Scrum?
Attentional Styles… (Nideffer) • Width of attention: Broad and Narrow. • Direction of attention: External and Internal.
Attention Styles: Explained… • Broad and Narrow dimension depicts a gradual change of the amount of information processed. • Broad attention takes in a great deal of environmental information. This includes peripheral cues or stimuli i.e. passing when surrounded by defenders. • Narrow focus is required concentration on one or a small number of stimuli. This usually allows performers to focus on one cue.
Continued… • External and Internal dimensions indicate in which direction attention is focused. • External focus is an outward projection of concentration on a stimulus. • Internal focus indicates that the performers attention is directed inwardly towards their own psychological state.
Work for you… • Spend the next 10 mins writing your own notes on the two pages up to EMOTIONAL CONTROL (Pg. 256-257) • I will complete these notes for Wordpress but use this time to ensure you have fully understood this area.