Effects of concentration disruption on simulated basic rifle marksmanship

Published: 08th May 2020
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This study investigated the hypothesis that the presence of anxiety symptoms is less related to simulated basic rifle marksmanship (S-BRM) performance than is cognitive disruption. Simulated rifle marksmanship was evaluated utilizing the Engagement Skills Trainer and anxiety scores were assessed using the Sport Anxiety Scale (Smith, Smoll & Schutz, 1990). Multiple regression results showed concentration disruption, but not cognitive worry or somatic tension, to significantly predict S BRM functionality. These findings suggest the existence of anxiety symptoms is important for S BRM than the ability to maintain focus and to avoid being distracted by those symptoms. Here Donohoe is indicating the mere existence of stress really should not be a performance problem - since all performers feel some level of arousal before major contests. Donohoe is referring to the view that top basketball athletes are able to handle these symptoms in ways which enable them to perform for their potential. Really, sport psychology researchers have postulated that excessive stress disrupts attentional functioning, and numerous investigations of this theory have offered strong support for this contention (see Janelle, 2002 and Williams 2008 for reviews). This literature also suggests that attaining elite performance in sport depends on perfecting the biomechanical efficiency of required motions but in addition on the expert use of emotional resources which allows for powerful cognitive processing and control of attention under conditions of high pressure. This seems especially true among marksmen, where it is intuitive to suggest stress symptoms can have a substantial effect on performance, either due to the influence on cognitive functions (e.g., with diverting ideas) or somatic procedures (e.g., with increased and/or fickle heart and breathing rates). Either sort of stress may result in the equilibrium of a rifle, which may lead to increasingly large deviations in shot location proportional to the target space in minute changes. Studies analyzing the idea that stress quantity and kind may negatively influence shot quality have a tendency to support this theory and are old. As an example, Gates (1918) ran an early examination of expert and novice shooters and found beginner shots' performance was negatively affected by dwelling on thoughts which were deflecting (e.g., "I can not seem to control myself" or "There, I moved again") relative to the notions of their more experienced peers. Similarly, Sade, Bar-Eli, Bresler, & Tenenbaum (1990) found that highly skilled shooters reported significantly lower (state) stress scores than did relatively proficient shooters. While the association between marksmanship score along with the intensity of anxiety symptoms seems apparent, the inquiry of whether some marksmen can enable the "butterflies to fly in formation" is still relatively unexplored. The purpose that attention disruption plays in the current presence of stress symptoms among military marksmen is also unexplored. Further, very little is known about how these particular variants influence the firing performance of military personnel.

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