4 Sports that Demand Intense Concentration
While every sport requires a certain degree of focus, some sports demand more concentration than others. In our post today, we want to show you some examples and explain the importance that concentration has on performance.
Concentration and sports
Regardless of the sport that you choose to participate in, you need to have a certain degree of concentration to practice, compete or even just to avoid injuries. Staying focused during the entirety of competitions or workouts is a big challenge that professionals and non-professionals alike have to assume.
Furthermore, some sports require a higher degree of concentration than others. Objectives such as shooting precisely or winning a point on a small court may be factors that place a high focus on the activity.
But, what’s concentration? We can define it as such: focusing all your attention on the most relevant aspects of a task, leaving everything else aside. In other words: avoiding distractions.
There are different types of focuses. They span from general to specific, internal or external and focus for specific situations. For example, a specific situation could be a basketball player shooting a free throw.
The sports that demand the highest levels of concentration
Today, our list focuses– pun intended– on the sports that require laser-sharp focus for high performance. That means that during nearly the entire competition, players that participate in these sports can’t let distractions of any kind lead them astray. The spectators even have to stay silent!
In this Olympic sport, archers shoot an arrow at a target from a certain distance. The bows can weigh between 17 to 22 kg, depending on the gender of the archer.
The archer holds the bow in the opposite hand of their dominant eye. The correct shooting position is: standing side-ways, feet vertical to each shoulder and one foot in front of the other.
Then, the archer holds the cord with three fingers, lifts the bow and pulls back. After, he or she aims at the target, (whose different colored rings represent different points) they take a moment to lock aim.
This category of sports also includes two other disciplines: shooting (as seen at the Summer Olympics). These sports share similar precepts as archery. Darts, despite the lack of bows, are also similar to archery.
Golf is another prime example of sports that demand focus and precision. Players aim to hit their balls into the holes on a course full of obstacles.
The players make contact with the ball with their golf clubs; the player who manages to use the least amount of strokes to finish the entire game wins. Golf players usually keep 5 to 14 clubs in their bag; they’re all different and fit a specific situation, terrain, distance and wind condition.
The only thing you’ll hear during an entire golf tournament or match is the applause that follows a hole.
Hailing originally from England, tennis requires high amounts of focus and precision as well because of the smaller-sized ball and speed of the game.
Tennis matches are exciting, yet at the same time, quiet. Spectators have to stay silent because the players need to concentrate entirely on the serves and different hits— forehands, volleys, backhands, etc.
We can also add tennis’ “fun-sized” version, table tennis, to this list. The ball and paddles players use in table tennis are much smaller than in tennis and the matches take place indoors. And while we’re at it, we can add another tennis variant to our list as well: padel.
4. Pool, another sport that demands a serious focus
Many people don’t consider pool to be a sport, but, it is! Pool players shoot different colored balls on top of a table. They aim to hit their balls into the holes that line the table.
Despite the noise that often accompanies pool halls and bars, players must focus solely on hitting the cue ball to make an impact with the others. Additionally, they have to avoid shooting in the black ball.
Wrapping up, all of these sports on our list today will put not just players’ physical abilities to the test, but concentration capacities as well. Have you ever tried one of these sports?
- McCarthy, P. J., Allen, M. S., & Jones, M. V. (2013). Emotions, cognitive interference and concentration disruption in youth sport. Journal of Sports Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2012.738303