How Perception Can Boost Sports Performance\\
There's an interesting article in the NY Times about perception and sports performance. What's interesting to me particularly, is that they make some claims that counter arguments I've made on this board.
Now, I think they seem to be making a couple of assumptions that aren't supported by data:“We suspect that a bigger [perceived] target makes people feel more confident in their ability” to hit it, she says. And greater confidence typically results in better performance. She and her colleagues did not assess confidence levels in this experiment, she says, though they plan to do so in follow-up work.
1) "hot streaks" are not random events
2) a correlation between confidence and success implies that confidence creates success (wrt to shooting/kicking)
Regardless, the paper is interesting.
Its all about confidence and the belief you can do it.in 2009 i was coaching a 6,7 and 8 year old baseball team.a few kids including my own went into a batting slump.so i sat there thinking what can i do.bat oil was the ticket.i printed a sticky label that said baseball bat oil and stuck to a suntan oil pump spray bottle.i told them it was my fault .i had forgotten to oil their bats.i squirted some oil on a rag .then started rubbing there bats with it.the hits came back.the rest of the season if someone struck out out came the bat oil.i believe that bottle of bat oil helped us to 15-0 as much as anything.
Maybe the more narrow the focus of one's eyes, the less one sees and feels. Maybe, when you hear a basketball player who has had a great shooting night say, "the basket looked so big," has that sense because he actually was seeing the shot as part of a much larger zone of awareness--the angle to the rim, the distance, where his weight was, was he ready to shoot (whether he was in rhythm, relaxed enough, and sufficiently squared to the target to deliver the shot with appropriate touch. He might accordingly have seen the rim for what it was, a point of reference for direction and distance, a much broader zone of awareness, than a point of destination. The result, the muscles around the eys and throughout the body are softer, the shooter has much more reason to feel confident such that the rim feels bigger. In reality, shooting a basketball and putting a accurately might have litttle to do with the size of the hole than with the number of imputs just mentioned. Not looking hard at the whole/basket and having an awareness of so many other things necessary to put the ball in motion with appropriate touch on the appropriate line makes the goal feel larger, and thus be seen as larger.
On the other hand, runners might judge how fast they are moving by a broad focus on kinesthetic senses--how much in sync that they feel, how long and easy their stride feels, how belabored or easy their breath feels, etc. Other senses, might provide them with little information of value, and some not at all. Even using one's eyes as a measure of speed might have a very low priority because the zone of awareness is focused on other things, maintaining one's balance, seeing the apce one might need to make up, etc.
Here are some results of a different visual experiment at odds with the hypothesis this psychologist advanced. People were put in a room and snow flakes were made to float up outside the window. In a short period of time, everyone saw the snow flakes falling down even while they actually were rising. I believe that the correction did not occur for people were out in the snow as it was rising. In the first case, there was no kinesthetic input to contradict the illogical notion advanced by their vision that it snowing upside down. The people outside had confirming tactile information and therefore the brain had no basis for making the correction.
Last edited by greybeard; 04-07-2012 at 01:01 PM.