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The importance of concentration and focus of attention in sport

The importance of concentration and focus of attention in sport

May 4, 2024

One of the many factors that influence the performance of any sport is concentration . Moreover, this process has acquired over the years a crucial importance to achieve great sporting successes. We talk about the conquest of championships, medals and world records; the athletes who have managed to reach the top of any sport have managed to direct their attention exclusively to the task , obviating any external distraction.

This enormous importance of targeting athletes has not gone unnoticed by sports psychologists, who have tried to know in depth the different psychological and contextual aspects that influence the concentration n , in view of trying to improve sports performance.


Concentration and sports performance: cause and effect

That said, I think we must insist that concentration is a process that proportionally improves sports performance, and that therefore maximizes the chances of success within any discipline . The more concentration you have in any task, the better you will develop it, and therefore, you will get better results.

Concept of concentration

A good definition of concentration can be as follows: the ability of a person to centralize their attention in a sustained and constant manner for a prolonged period of time, in an activity or task, ignoring situations or external circumstances.


Concentration, then, is mainly a form of selective attention that allows us to process the information that interests us, ignoring the other factors or external circumstances that surround us. The exact concept is the focus of attention; center all our senses on the task we are doing.

Some examples of focus of attention

To try to graphically explain the concept of focalization of attention we can resort to a series of illustrative examples. For example, the footballer who focuses on what he controls; in his ability to get ahead of the opponent in an accurate dribble, or in correctly kicking the ball for that shot ends 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 tennis player hitting the ball and being able to make a good hit.


In addition, focused attention is commonly assigned to a sports jargon; phrases like "I played the whole game very concentrated", "I lost my concentration and I could not recover it again", "after the first failure I lost concentration", this last one very usual in soccer players. In short, recurring phrases in the sports world that they are a clear sign that concentration is an aspect that plays a decisive role in sports competition.

The lack of concentration

Concentration is essential in sports, and its deficit in any individual who practices a sport discipline can cost many mistakes. That is why lack of concentration is considered one of the biggest problems of the sport and .

To try to mitigate the harmful effects of the lack of concentration in the sport, the coaches use a series of strategies. Although the motivation and the activation can be very positive elements for the athlete at the time of maintaining an adequate concentration and therefore a good performance, the technical professionals of the world of sport have detected that the presence of sports psychologists can help avoid mistakes due to lack of concentration .

Sports psychologists

In sports like soccer, Many sports psychologists work specifically to consolidate behavior patterns that they facilitate that the player remains with all his senses in the game during all the party. It may seem an easy task, however, to ensure that the player understands that to maintain concentration must ignore factors such as the referee's performance, the conditions of the field, weather conditions and ultimately several factors that can not control, evading of its purpose and distract it, it is really complicated.

A widely used strategy is visualization or mental rehearsal, a task that consists mainly of the athlete mentally reproducing each step to make during the activity, coming to feel those sensations so characteristic when in competition.

When the athlete reaches the maximum concentration, enters what experts call flow state, in which the individual is so involved in what he is doing that he keeps his attention without being disturbed 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, that task that has become automatic must be executed in a way that does not require focusing attention on each of the steps or elements that make up the task, but should focus on what is going to happen and let it happen.

To conclude, it must be clarified that all kinds of sports have their methodology and progress . Undoubtedly, one of the factors that have more relevance when it comes to improving in any discipline, is concentration. Consequently, knowledge of several strategies that allow us to enhance this ability will allow any athlete to achieve better records and results.


Concentration and focus in Sport and Performance Psychology (May 2024).


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