The importance of temporal structure and rhythm for the optimum performance of motor skills: A new focus for practitioners of sport psychology.

Alan MacPherson, Dave Collins, Sukvinder S. Obhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper considers the importance of temporal structure or rhythm, as one type of movement retrieval cue or prime, for optimum movement execution and emphasizes its potential for enhancing human performance. To present this case, we consider evidence from the motor control literature that discusses the importance of temporal structure and rhythm and how these movement constraints are organized in the human body. We consider how such constraints have been researched to date, and the central role they might play in developing, maintaining, and prompting optimal movement patterns. On the basis of the literature reviewed, we suggest that temporally structured or rhythmical interventions can play a critical role in facilitating the execution of movement patterns in high-pressure performance environments. Finally, we offer a series of guidelines for the effective employment of rhythm-based approaches in applied settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S48-S61
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Volume21
Issue numberS1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • rhythmicity

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