Tag Archives: Quiet Brain

Can Home Court Advantage Turn Into Home Court Choke?

via Axon Sports

Ask any NBA player or coach where they would prefer to play a high stakes game, home or away, and the vast majority will choose being in the friendly confines of their home arena.  Overall, the win-loss records of most teams would support that, but they would do even better if they taught their home fans a lesson in performance psychology.   When it comes to sports skills, research has shown that we’re better off to just do it rather than consciously thinking about the mechanics of each sub-component of the move.  Waiting for a pitch, standing over a putt or stepping up to the free throw line gives our brains …

read more

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Gaze Control Helps Golfers and Surgeons

via Axon Sports

Surgeons now have a really good excuse to be out on the golf course.  Researchers have shown that the same training technique that will improve their putting can also improve their operating skills.  Dr Samuel Vine and Dr Mark Wilson, from Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter, tested both elite golfers and surgical residents in two separate experiments using the gaze control technique known as the “Quiet Eye.” First, they divided 22 elite golfers, (handicaps less than 6), into two groups after their baseline putting performance was measured.  The control group received no additional training while the experimental group participated in Quiet Eye (QE) training, a method first …

read more

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The science behind choking

via Axon Sports

Free throw shooting in basketball offers one of the best opportunities to look at the effects of pressure on athletic performance.  Most NBA players can stand around in an empty gym and knock down free throw after free throw.  It’s one of those skills that has been so refined by deliberate practice that it’s basically performed on autopilot.  But it’s a different story to put that same player in a pressure-packed situation, in front of a crowd, with the game on the line.  In research conducted by Art Markman at the University of Texas, it appears that NBA players are more likely to choke in critical, late-game situations: The  highest pressure …

read more

Tags: , , , , ,

Rory McIlroy and the quiet brain

via Axon Sports

File this under the category of when life confirms research. Some great quotes about how Rory McIlroy prepared for the US Open, and how his approach toward putting differed from his meltdown at the Masters. Via puttingyips.com: McIlroy stated that he worked with Dave Stockton on his approach to putting and that helped him improve. They didn’t work on changing his stroke, but instead his green reading and putting routine, which means the mental game of putting. “The work that I’ve done with Dave Stockton has been more about how to approach a putt, not focusing on technique so much, more like green reading, your routine, and everything like that,” said …

read more

Tags: , ,

NFL players on playbooks, information chunking and the quiet brain

via Axon Sports

Here’s a great article at AOL News from a couple months back that has actual NFL players talking about the difficulties of learning an NFL playbook, the strategies that they use and the way that their minds have to translate the language of different systems. In several places there are echoes of topics that we’ve talked about on the blog lately. It’s always nice to hear the intuitions of players confirm the findings of science. Here’s Trent Dilfer on the process by which a play goes from something that he “knows” on a conscious, cognitive level, to something that he “owns”, which is much deeper. It’s also pretty clear from the …

read more

Tags: , , ,