The potential role for cognitive training in sport: More research needed

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Abstract

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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Walton, C. C., Keegan, R. J., Martin, M., & Hallock, H. (2018). The potential role for cognitive training in sport: More research needed. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(JUL). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01121

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