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The Potential Role for Cognitive Training in Sport: More Research Needed

Courtney C. Walton, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia and Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; et al.
July 8, 2018
#cognitive-performance #athletics

Published: Front. Psychol., 03 July 2018

Sports performance at the highest level requires a wealth of cognitive functions such as attention, decision making, and working memory to be functioning at optimal levels in stressful and demanding environments. Whilst a substantial research base exists focusing on psychological skills for performance (e.g., imagery) or therapeutic techniques for emotion regulation (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy), there is a scarcity of research examining whether the enhancement of core cognitive abilities leads to improved performance in sport. Cognitive training is a highly researched method of enhancing cognitive skills through repetitive and targeted exercises. In this article, we outline the potential use of cognitive training (CT) in athlete populations with a view to supporting athletic performance. We propose how such an intervention could be used in the future, drawing on evidence from other fields where this technique is more fruitfully researched, and provide recommendations for both researchers and practitioners working in the field.

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