Effects of concentration disruption on basic rifle marksmanship that is simulated

Published: 08th May 2020
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This study investigated the hypothesis the presence of stress symptoms is less related to simulated basic rifle marksmanship (S BRM) functionality than is cognitive disruption. Simulated rifle marksmanship was evaluated using the Engagement Skills Trainer and stress scores were evaluated utilizing the Sport Anxiety Scale (Smith, Smoll & Schutz, 1990). Multiple regression results revealed concentration disruption, but not cognitive worry or somatic tension, to predict SBRM performance. These findings suggest that the presence of stress symptoms is important for SBRM than the power to avoid being diverted by those symptoms and to maintain focus. The notion that precompetitive anxiety can have either debilitating or facilitating effects on functionality is perhaps best summed up by Canadian Olympic Basketball coach Jack Donohoe's famous quote: "it's not a case of getting rid of the butterflies, itis a matter of getting them to fly in formation" (quoted in Orlick, 1986, p. 112). Here Donohoe is indicating that the mere existence of nervousness shouldn't be a performance issue - since all performers feel some level of arousal before important contests. Donohoe is referring to the view that top basketball athletes can handle these symptoms in ways which enable them to perform for their potential. Really, sport psychology researchers have postulated that excessive anxiety disrupts attentional performance, and numerous investigations of the theory have offered strong support for this particular contention (see Janelle, 2002 and Williams 2008 for reviews). This literature also suggests that achieving top-notch performance depends on perfecting the biomechanical efficiency of motions that are required but also on the adept use of emotional resources which allows for powerful cognitive processing and control of focus under conditions of high stress. This seems especially true among marksmen, where it's intuitive to indicate stress symptoms can have a sizable impact on performance, either due to the influence on cognitive functions (e.g., with distracting ideas) or somatic procedures (e.g., with increased and/or fickle heart and ventilation rates). Either kind of nervousness may result in minute changes in the stability of a rifle, which can lead to increasingly large deviations in shot location proportional to the target distance. Studies analyzing the idea that stress quantity and type may negatively affect shot quality among marksmen usually are not new and tend to support this hypothesis. As an example, Gates (1918) ran an early examination of expert and novice shooters and discovered novice shots' performance was adversely impacted by dwelling on thoughts which were distracting (e.g., "I can not seem to command myself" or "There, I went again") relative to the thoughts of their more experienced peers. More recently, Tierney, Cartner, and Thompson (1979) found negative relationships between self-reported nervousness about firing and record-fire scores for female military shooters (r = -. Similarly, Sade, Bar-Eli, Bresler, & Tenenbaum (1990) found that highly proficient shooters reported significantly lower (state) anxiety scores than did reasonably skilled shooters. While the relationship between marksmanship score along with the intensity of anxiety symptoms appears clear, the question of whether some marksmen can allow the "butterflies to fly in formation" is still relatively unexplored. The function that concentration disruption plays in the existence of stress symptoms among military marksmen is, in addition, unexplored. Additionally, very little is known about how these special variants affect the shooting performance of military personnel.

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