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TheCoach

Mind-Wandering General Conclusion

(………….) The results of this project suggest that mind wandering is part of sport, as occurs in other areas of daily life. Accordingly, mind wandering occurs in a wide range of situations in sport and physical activity. Common features of many situations involved physical inactivity while coaches were talking, low arousal emotions, both positive and negative, and fatigue. Further, mind wandering can affect performance both positively and negatively, and athletes’ can exert a certain control over their wandering minds. However, the results also indicate that the participants have reported both intentional and unintentional mind wandering, without taking into consideration conceptual differences between them (Seli et al., 2015). Taking together the results of this brief study and the evidence from general psychology, the emergence of a line of research on mind wandering in sports would be beneficial as it outlines when mind wandering occurs, under which circumstances and by which means mind wandering aids learning and performance, and how to teach athletes to use mind wandering in their favor and to avoid mind wandering when it leads to frustrating distractions. Finally, this line of research on mind wandering would also benefit from links to psychological health and well-being, since outside of sport the content of mind-wandering has been related to negative mood (Poerio et al., 2013) and the control over mind-wandering to failure of executive control (McVay & Kane, 2010), especially in relation to psychopathological symptoms such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (e.g., Karatekin, 2004) or dysphoria (e.g., Smallwood, O’Connor, & Heim, 2006).

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