Published on April 14, 2008
Role of Concentration in Injury: Role of Concentration in Injury Paul Dent Introduction: Introduction Paul Dent, MSc Lecturer, Brunel University BASES Accredited Sport & Exercise Psychologist Reviewer SE and Accreditation Applications Research: “Emotional Responses and Coping Skills in Injured Elite Athletes” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org www.essential-sport.com Previous Work: Previous Work London Wasps English Institute of Sport British Judo BAoFE Ladies Golf Injured Athletes Platform Diving Olympic Silver Medallists Athens 2004 Commonwealth Games 2006 Concentration: Concentration Definition Types & Shifting of Attentional Focus Attentional Problems Choking Self-Talk Tips & Exercises for Improving Concentration Focus and the Injured Athlete What is Concentration? : What is Concentration? Concentration is the ability to maintain focus on relevant environmental cues. Also called “attention”. Concentration Factors: Concentration Factors Types of Attentional Focus: Types of Attentional Focus EXTERNAL INTERNAL BROAD NARROW Assess Perform Analyze Rehearse Four Types of Focus: Four Types of Focus Broad-External Used to rapidly assess a situation Narrow-External Used to focus exclusively on one or two external cues Broad-Internal Used to analyze and plan Narrow-Internal Used to mentally rehearse an upcoming performance or control an emotional state Identifying Types of Focus: Identifying Types of Focus A “scrum half” is making a decision on which play to call A bowler scans for tension before starting her approach A golfer recalls a few previous similar shots when deciding on a club A tennis player watches his toss as he starts his serve A coach figures out the starting line-up Shifting Attentional Focus: Shifting Attentional Focus When the environment changes rapidly, attentional focus must also change rapidly Examples? Shifting Exercise Attentional Problems: Attentional Problems INTERNAL DISTRACTERS: Within ourselves, thoughts, worries, concerns EXTERNAL DISTRACTERS: Stimuli from the environment External Distracters: External Distracters Visual distractions Auditory distractions Gamesmanship (trash talking, psyching out opponent) Examples? Internal Distracters: Internal Distracters Attending to past events (e.g. Lisa) Attending to future events (“what if…”) Choking Overanalyzing body mechanics Fatigue Self-Talk I can’t wait to celebrate! How Self-Talk Works: How Self-Talk Works SELF -TALK(Any Statement or Thought): SELF -TALK (Any Statement or Thought) POSITIVE Self-Talk Increases: Self-esteem Motivation Attentional Focus Performance NEGATIVE Self-Talk is: Critical Self-demeaning Counterproductive Anxiety Producing Self-Talk (cont.): Self-Talk (cont.) Uses: *Concentration *Skill Acquisition *Breaking Bad Habits *Initiating Action *Sustaining Effort Changing Self-Talk: *Thought Stopping *Changing Negative ST to Positive ST Choking: Choking An attentional process that leads to impaired performance and the inability to retain control over performance without outside assistance The Choking Process: The Choking Process Tips for Improving Concentration on Site: Tips for Improving Concentration on Site Practice with Distractions Use Cue Words to Focus (instructional & motivational) Employ Non-judgmental Thinking Establish Routines* Practice Eye Control Stay Focused in the Present Overlearn Skills Develop Competition Plans Competition Routine Rugby Throw-In : Competition Routine Rugby Throw-In Assess field position on way to line Get ball and take deep breath Look at ball & adjust hand position Stagger feet and shift balance backwards Raise ball overhead & keep elbows in and hips straight Take a deep breath Make call and make eye contact with target Recoil and snap at waist Exercises to Improve Concentration: Exercises to Improve Concentration Learn to Shift Attention Learn to Maintain Focus Search for Relevant Cues Rehearse Game Concentration Parking Thoughts Attentional Focus with Respect to Injury: Attentional Focus with Respect to Injury Focus is perhaps the most neglected and misunderstood psychological contributor to rehabilitation and return to sport Facilitating cues include pain (as information), proprioceptive responses, physical dimensions such as range of motion and strength, information that you provide, support from others and feedback from physical therapy equipment Injury and Attention: Injury and Attention Interfering cues are comprised of negative thoughts, anxiety, pain (as a inhibitor), preoccupation with the rehabilitated area on return to sport, pressure from others to recover quickly, distractions during treatment and comparisons to others on return to sport. Injured athletes often possess either external or internal focus styles that involve a preference to focus on external or internal information and that allow greater ease and comfort in processing the respective kinds of information Injured athletes can learn to adjust focus much like a the beam of a torch in which it can be widened to illuminate a large area or narrowed to brighten a small area. Injury and Attention: Injury and Attention Patients with an external focus need to focus away from disruptive internal cues and onto necessary external cues such as instruction and feedback Those with an internal style need to block out external distractions and focus on relevant internal rehabilitation cues Injured athletes should balance long-term, short-term focus, pay attention to the four P’s (positive, process, present, progress), control their eyes and use keywords and rehabilitation imagery Case Study:: Case Study: Working in pairs, identify a patient who perhaps is lacking in focus through their rehabilitation, Design a short intervention aimed at altering their attentional style / focus and state how you will monitor progress of the patient.