Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Advice to Indian cricket team.

A study suggests that Dhoni and team should stop thinking consciously about their game, and to let their brains do the work automatically.

What the study says is:

Whether on the court, field or course, the body depends on the brain for direction. But the brain is a busy taskmaster, with duties beyond guiding motion, making it difficult to focus on that particular job. Like chess masters and virtuoso musicians, superior athletes are better than novices at turning on just the parts of the brain relevant to the desired task. In professionals, the overall brain activation is much lower, but certain connections are enhanced.In other words, experts employ only the finely tuned neural regions that help enhance performance, without getting bogged down by extraneous information.

In contrast, the study found that the brains of beginner golfers preparing a swing showed much more dispersed activity — especially pervasive in the basal ganglia and limbic system, regions of the brain that control emotions and make people consciously aware of their movements.

Such differences in brain activity reflect the players’ different concerns. “The novices were worried about all kinds of things — wind, water and sand,The pro golfers just hit the ball.

..Devoting too much conscious attention to swing mechanics could actually hurt performance, even among big leaguers...When professional golfers think too long about their shots, the athletes activate parts of their brains that they haven’t used during golf since first learning the game, throwing finely tuned sensorimotor pathways out of whack. This is because the expert’s brain has already figured out the optimal solution, and anything they consciously change will disrupt that,

The experience of “being in the zone” could simply be what happens when the brain regions making athletes conscious of their movements are finally quieted and motor centers get free rein to guide the players to victory.”
Taking some lessons from the study, Dhoni and team should stop thinking. Just go into the ground and let your instinct- sharpened by training- take over.

As I concluded in an old post, throw out the coaches and laptops.

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