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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
December 7, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Laurier Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience

The Importance of Temporal Structure and Rhythm for the Optimum Performance of Motor Skills: A New Focus for Practitioners of Sport Psychology

Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, In Press
MacPherson, A.C., Collins, D.J. & Obhi, S.S.

published: 2008 | Research publication | Cognition in Action Lab

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.

revised Oct 15/08

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