chapter  52
10 Pages

Concentration/attention

ByAidan Moran

As top coaches, like Sir Alex Ferguson, have discovered from experience, the ability to concentrate, or focus on the task at hand while ignoring distractions (Moran, 2004), is central to successful performance in sport. This claim is supported by a combination of anecdotal, descriptive, and experimental evidence. First, anecdotally, many sports performers have emphasized the great importance that they attach to concentration skills. For example, Paul McGinley, the Irish golfer, reported what he focused on when he faced a tricky putt to win the 2002 Ryder Cup match for Europe against the USA:

At no time did I even consider the mechanics of the stroke … I became absorbed in the line of the putt. I could see it exactly from beginning to end. My only job at that moment in time was to set the ball off on the line that I had chosen. That was the only thing I could control.