What is it that makes athletes like Rodgers exceptional? Is there a common denominator in great hitters, great infielders, great goalies, great quarterbacks and great race car drivers. And is there a way we can use this information to become exceptional ourselves?
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"Based on athletes’ reports and technology that tracks their eye movements, we know that athletes anticipate what’s coming next by focusing only on the most relevant cues in an opponents’ movement pattern. And that this skill changes and becomes refined with training. The eyes of novices are all over the place, whereas athletes’ focus is much more targeted and economical. Across a number of different sports, expert athletes demonstrate similar “visual search strategies”. Their eyes focus on fewer targets, jump around less, and they stay focused for longer periods of time than do the eyes of novices."
This is a fascinating concept because in a world filled with a gazillion pieces of information flying at us from all directions, how do we process it all? The key for Aaron Rodgers when he faces down 11 defenders has more to do with which information not to process, and identifying the right cues so as to obtain the most effective result. Crowd noise and stunt maneuvers by defensive linemen are all distractions.
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