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    Watch and Learn: Athletes Can Improve by Observing the Actions of Others

    Bruton, Adam M and Wright, David ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9568-0237 (2022) Watch and Learn: Athletes Can Improve by Observing the Actions of Others. Frontiers for Young Minds, 10. 702784.

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    Abstract

    Athletes spend a lot of time and effort practicing skills to get better at their sports. In addition to physical practice, athletes can use a technique called action observation to help themselves improve. Action observation is the process of watching movement. Humans naturally learn how to perform movements by watching the movements of other people. For example, from an early age, children learn important skills such as walking, throwing, and kicking by seeing other people perform those actions. Research has shown that watching movements activates similar parts of the brain to those that are involved in performing movement. This means watching sports performance might help athletes improve by strengthening the brain areas used when actions are performed. Coaches and sport psychologists use action observation methods, such as live demonstrations and video footage, to help athletes improve their techniques, develop their confidence, and get better at their sports.

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