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Cognition and Sport

What is the importance of Cognition within Sport? How does Cognitive training help in today's athletic arena?

First the basics - what is cognition?

Definition: cog·ni·tion / Noun

1. The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

2. A result of this; a perception, sensation, or intuition.

Cognition is a term:

It referring to the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension, including thinking, knowing, remembering, judging and problem-solving. These are higher-level functions of the brain and encompass language, imagination, perception and planning. Cognition is the scientific term for mental processes. It refers to the perception, acquisition, memorization of information of humans. More precisely, it refers to the thinking, knowing, remembering, judging and problem-solving abilities of humans. Cognition is studied in various disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. Usage of the term varies in different disciplines; for example in psychology and cognitive science, it usually refers to an information processing view of an individual's psychological functions. It is also used in a branch of social psychology called social cognition to explain attitudes, attribution and groups dynamics.

What is the connection between cognition and sport:

The ability to make decisions whilst in the midst of high performance sporting competition. (the rate of Absorption of Information, at the same time as, Explosive Speed, Strength, and under Endurance Pressure). The Connection must be strong enough to maintain the reliability of the Athlete to work mentally and physically. Balance, Propriocetion and cognition are all aspects of the brains ability to perform at this high level whilst sitting on the shoulder of Speed, Power and Endurance, .

Why is cognition so important in sport:

Athletes must be able to make split-second decisions under the pressures of activity or competition. Quite often this vital skill is left to chance, relying on the skill of the sportsman or athlete. Cognition is sport is so important because if you can not READ the game, ANTICIPATE what will happen and REACT to stimulus, then an Athletes effectiveness is drastically reduced.

Olympic Lifting:

Olympic lifting requires the athlete to lift the bar as high as possible so to allow him to jump under the bar and hold it in either a front squat position for the clean or full overhead squat on the snatch. There is a millisecond phase where the feet leave the floor to either jump horizontally forward ( split jerk ) or sideways for cleans and snatches. These horizontal jumps, forward or sideways, are the key to horizontal movements in sprints to the side or forward. Maximum forces used to leave the ground then push horizontally is the perfect primary explosive speed work for an athlete. That is why the Olympic lifts are key in exercise development for rapid movements horizontally. 

Cognition in Sport by Mick Clegg

As most athletes want to learn what is necessary to do well cognitively in there sport, without going on a brain training course, I decided to open a few little windows for them in the athletic conditioning brain box division. 

To start with, here is a random example... ..

Edwin has the ball and Cristiano sees the possibility, he checks his position starts to move infield, watches Edwin throw to Rio to which Rio sees Cristiano check and swerve, then he is heading to the wing. Rio clips the ball over the city defense for Cristiano to take control at high speed, play the ball in front of him whilst observing.... 2 defenders bearing down on him!!! 

Decision time! --- do I beat the 2 players or cross the ball to Rooney who is hurtling through from deep midfield at a pace of a stallion??? 


Should I chip the keeper who now has come a little to far off his line....and score .....???

Can you imagine how much brain work is going on all at the same time? In an instance, if we could harness Cristiano's ability and use it ourselves what could it give us? 

I am going to show you how and why I know its possible. 

Goodbye for now. m c

How to enhance Cognition in Sport 

in association with FitlightUK and S.P.I.


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