Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Does Attention Training Induce Any Changes in the Level of the Selected Cognitive Processes in Handball Players

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Does Attention Training Induce Any Changes in the Level of the Selected Cognitive Processes in Handball Players

Article excerpt


Attention strengthens the effectiveness of learning during sport training as well as the effectiveness of the player in the course of athleticcompetition. The process, being a component of a sportsman's motivation, directs their receptive abilities selectively to the stimuli important for the sports goal performance. It simultaneously decreases their sensitivity to insignificant factors from the point of view of the goal (Sternberg, 2005; Gracz, Sankowski, 2000; Nideffer, 1986). The role of attention is varied: it controls interaction with the environment and plays an adaptive role. What is of crucial importance as well is the fact that it combines the past and present, controls and plans future actions (Nideffer, 1986). At present, attention is specified as the process of focusing on one task or source of stimuli despite distraction. Attention makes it possible to precisely register some aspects of the environment, enables learning and quick reaction (Revlin, 2013).

Senses play an important role, perceiving the environmental information and coordinating extremity movements regarding external conditions (Porac, Coren, 1981). These are complex sensorimotor transformations that must continually integrate a large number of sensorimotor inputs and coordinate numerous movements (Ting, 2007). Guy Azemar et al. (2007) consider success in competitive sports to be related to laterality, brain dominance, sensorimotor coordination and visual movement coordination (Bruhn, 2004). It is assumed that the body may control its movements based on feedback from movement it is engaged in.

The discrepancy between the planned and obtained value is determined and properly corrected (Kamiński, 1973). Proprioception and neuromuscular coordination impact sports results and may prevent injuries and their reappearance in the future (Hunziker, 2006).

Peripheral perception is a part of vision which applies only to lateral perception (left and right). Perceiving "distant circumference" refers to the area on the edges of the visual field. The function of peripheral vision useful in sports is providing sensations, being the background of specific visual perception (Hunziker, 2006;, Illodot, 2014; Knudson, Kulka, 1997). The ability of peripheral perception (which may be improved with proper training), impacts sports competition, particularly in the case of handball. Peripheral perception is significant, especially in team sports, since attention is focused not only on horizontal and vertical movements, but the players must also focus on the pitch, opponents and the ball (Knudson, Kulka, 1997). Perception is crucial in team sports to take decisions (Planer, 1994).

Team sports are becoming more and more dynamic, thus the player needs to react quickly based on sudden events and their own psychomotor abilities. The player must - during great physical effort, under great emotional strength - quickly perceive, remember, evaluate, infer and act (Panfil, 2006; Roy et all., 2016)

Neurofeedback-EEG is a method of improving attention functions. The person subject to the training, owing to biofeedback, may observe changes in the attention concentration and impact their emotional condition. Such an impact gives the possibility of controlling the psychophysiological condition of the body. Repeating the trainings for some time results in improving the abilities of regulating the psychophysiological condition through mechanical learning (Joniak, Joniak, 2010; Thompson, Thompson, 2003; Walkowiak, 2015). Making use of brain plasticity involving the creation of new synaptic connections, brain acquires new information. The person improves brain functioning through the neurofeedback-EEG training, thus weakening the unwanted frequency bands and enhancing the wanted frequency [Joniak,Joniak 2010; Fedotchev, 2010,Hammond, 2007).

Many researchers (Hammond, 2007; Strack, Linden, Wilson, 2011; Vernon, 2005) confirm that the neurofeedback-EEG training improves the concentration of athletes, increases stress resistance and makes it possible to feel better, compose oneself and decrease internal stress. …

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