Becoming a top athlete is a dream for many kids. However, only a select few gifted individuals get this chance through rigorous athletic training. But can these kids maintain focus and concentration throughout their journey?Read more: Boosting Working Memory: An Athlete’s Key to Success?
Athletic Training’s Demanding Path
Pursuing an athletic career isn’t a walk in the park. While kids engage daily in their passion, early mornings for school followed by intense training sessions, and evenings filled with homework become their routine. Moreover, in many sports disciplines, failing academically can jeopardize your athletic ambitions. Thus, maintaining concentration becomes paramount – in school, during training, and even during homework sessions. The secret might lie in a robust working memory, which we’ll delve into in this piece.
The ‘Conductor’ of Your Brain: Working Memory
Everyone possesses a working memory, a component of the executive system, often likened to the ‘conductor’ of the brain. Its primary function is retaining and processing information for short durations. This is crucial for tasks like remembering instructions, math problems, reading comprehension, problem-solving, and even organizing daily life. Studies indicate that students with working memory issues are often mislabeled as having attention problems. Such misdiagnosis can deter talents from succeeding academically and athletically.
The Distraction Deluge
In recent years, distractions have surged, especially with mobile phones, social media, and gaming. Such stimuli, continuously vying for attention, render the working memory ‘lazier.’ Consequently, concentration and focus suffer.
Training Your Working Memory: Stretching the ‘Elastic’
Fortunately, working memory is malleable, much like stretching an elastic band. Various online tools can help train the working memory through adaptive games, like pattern recognition and number reversals. However, improving one’s working memory isn’t an overnight task. A committed regimen spanning several weeks, paired with individual coaching, ensures effective training.
Perseverance, Motivation, and Working Memory
While determination and motivation are pivotal, a functional working memory likely boosts concentration, enhancing focus during school, training, and homework. Simplifying it to “train your working memory, and success follows” isn’t the message. However, budding athletes struggling with focus might benefit from examining and possibly training their working memory, making their dream attainable.