Focusing skills in a risk-endurance sport.

Focusing skills in a risk-endurance sport.

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Title: Focusing skills in a risk-endurance sport.
Author: Kabush, Danelle.
Abstract: Studies have shown the importance of focusing skills at the elite level. For example, Orlick and Partington (1988) found that attentional focus was one of the two most important skills related to high level performance at the Olympic games. However there has been minimal research investigating how athletes themselves perceive focus. Furthermore, the question of how athletes develop focus and what kinds of focusing skills they use in order to eliminate distractions, to keep concentrated on the immediate task, and to get properly aroused for the task at hand has not been fully answered in the literature. The research objectives of this study on focusing skills among elite athletes in a risk-endurance sport (cross-country mountain bike racing) were fivefold. The first objective was to advance our knowledge on how elite athletes perceive and define focus in relation to their sport. The second and third objectives were to assess what focusing skills the athletes used before and during competition, as well as what kinds of focusing skills the athletes used in training. The fourth objective was to shed light on how the athletes developed and improved their focusing skills. The final objective was to discover other concepts that may have interacted with focus. The present study provides a clearer understanding of how elite athletes perceive focus and the different dimensions it entails. The findings also present a clearer picture of how focus is developed over the course of an athlete's career. There were both commonalities among the athletes and a uniqueness in the way each athlete perceived and developed focusing skills. These findings may enable coaches and sport psychologists to prevent or work more effectively with potential problems and issues that can hinder a great focus in the sport of mountain biking.
Date: 2001
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/9146

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