“To Think, or Not to Think, That Is the Question”

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Abstract

Understanding and explaining the mechanisms, cognitive processes, and self-regulatory strategies that enable the acquisition and proficient execution of motor skills pose significant challenges for the evidence-based practitioner. In this article, we critically consider contemporary theoretical and research findings focused on the scientific study of mental processes in elite performers, specifically in relation to the preparation, practice, and execution of self-paced skills. On examination of some of the current issues in this ongoing debate, we seek clarity as to best practice, and present evidence as to why holistic temporally accurate movement cues hold significant advantages for elite performers.

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