sports psychology

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By Anshul Singh Thapa Sport Psychology B.P.Ed II Year

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UNIT-I Meaning and Definition of Sports Psychology Origin and Development of Sports Psychology Psychological factors affecting performance Competition, its types, merits and demerits

Meaning : 

Meaning Sport psychology is the study of a person's behavior in sport. It is also a specialization within the brain Psychology and Kinesiology that seeks to understand psychological/mental factors that affect performance in sports, physical activity, and exercise and apply these to enhance individual and team performance. It deals with increasing performance by managing emotions and minimizing the psychological effects of injury and poor performance. Some of the most important skills taught are goal setting, relaxation, visualization, self-talk, awareness and control, concentration, confidence, using rituals, , and periodization.

Definition : 

Definition A branch of Psychology that researches mental factors in attainment of athletic skills and performance; also called sport psychology Sports psychology is the science which use the principles of psychology in sports.

Origin & Development of Sports Psychology : 

Origin & Development of Sports Psychology Historical Development in North America Historical Development in the other parts of the World Historical Development in India Development of different organizations and Associations

Historical Development in North America : 

Historical Development in North America The first sport psychologist is said to have been Norman Triplett, a North American man from Asia, born in 1861. Triplett’s first finding as a sport psychologist was that cyclists cycle faster in pairs or a group, rather than riding solo. Carl Diem, a German, founded the world’s first sport psychology laboratory in 1920. Five years later, opened a lab at the Institute of Physical Culture in Leningrad. Also in 1925, Coleman Griffith opened the first sport psychology lab in North America at the University of Illinois. He began his research in factors that affect sport performance in 1918, and in 1923, offered the first ever sport psychology course.

Historical Development in the other parts of the World : 

Historical Development in the other parts of the World The introduction of testing instruments to be applied in school settings took place in Spain in the early decades of the twentieth century, thank to the efforts of some teachers and physicians interested in child psychopathology and therapeutic Pedagogic. The French school seems to have dominated the field, although some other influences may be traced to its Italian and German sources. The contribution tries to clarify the main lines of thought that may be found in the early applications of testing practice that take place in Spanish educational psychology.

Development of different Organization and Associations : 

Development of different Organization and Associations The (ISSP) was formed by Dr. Ferruccio Antonelli of Italy in 1965. In 1966, a group of sport psychologists met in Chicago to form the (NASPSPA).

Competitions : 

Competitions The term competition is popularly used to refer to a variety of different situations. For e.g. We compete against others, against ourselves, against clock or record book and against objects and the elements (rock-climbing etc.) But in defining competition, most research has focused on situation in which people compete against other in organized physical activity.

Competitions : 

Competitions Competition is define as a social process that occurs when rewards are given to people complete against other in organized physical activity. According to this definition, rewards in competitions are limited to those who out perform others.

Sports Competitions : 

Sports Competitions Sport Competitions are :- Organized and skillful physical activity requiring commitment and fair play, in which a winner can be defined by objective means. It is governed by a set of rules or customs. In sports the key factors are the physical capabilities and skills of the competitor when determining the outcome (winning or losing).

Process of Competition : 

Process of Competition The process of competition is divided into four stages:- The objective competition situation The Subjective competition situation The response The consequences of the response

Objective Competitive Situation : 

Objective Competitive Situation It includes a standard for comparison and at least one other person. It is a situation in which an individual’s performance is compared with some standard of excellence in the presence of at least one other person who is aware of the criteria for comparison.

Subjective Competition Situation : 

Subjective Competition Situation It involves how the person perceives, accepts and appraise the objective competitive situations. Here the individual’s unique background and attributes become important. Such factors as perceived ability, motivation, the importance of the competitive situations, and the opponent may well influence the subjective appraisal of the competitive settings.

Response : 

Response After a person appraises a situation, he/she decided to either approach or avoid it. The chosen response indicate the third stage of the model. If the decision is not to compete, then the response stops there, however the response to compete can occur at the behavioral, physiological, psychological, or all the three levels.

Consequences : 

Consequences The final stage of competitive process results from comparing the athlete’s response with the standard of comparison. Consequences are usually seen as being either positive or negative, and many people equate positive consequences to success and negative consequences to failure.

Merits of Competitions : 

Merits of Competitions Competition is the life-breath of sports Competition is an elective aid to motivation Recognition of talent Release of Pent-up energy

Demerits of Competitions : 

Demerits of Competitions Competitions involves selection It may generate Hostility Intense competitions generate Negative emotions.

Psychological factor affecting sports performance : 

Psychological factor affecting sports performance Psychological factor affecting the performance negatively. Psychological factors affecting the performance positively.

Stress Anxiety Tension Fear Aggression Psychological factor affecting sports performance

Stress : 

Stress Stress manifests itself in the form of many psychological and physical problems like anxiety, hopelessness, anger, helplessness, egoism, expectation, tension, constipation, irritation, depression, apathy, frustration, loss of memory, loss of mind’s balance and finally suicide.

Stress is impossible to avoid. But it can be managed : 

Stress is impossible to avoid. But it can be managed • Managing training stress. A big mistake that athletes make is to train too hard too fast. Instead, training should be gradually progressive. Make sure the body can handle its current load before you increase the load, and always give the body adequate rest between sessions. • Managing competition stress. If the athletes finds competition stressful she shouldn't avoid it, she should just select it more carefully. You'll have more success if you plan your competitions so that the challenge increases each time out. The athlete's confidence and self-esteem will grow every time she is successful. There will be times she will be unsuccessful as well, and these should be recognized as great learning experiences. • Managing everyday stress. An athlete who is moving, breaking up with a partner, or going through other life-changing events will experience stress which will have an effect on performance. Since there is no way to really get rid of the stress, the best way to combat it is to cut down on stress in other areas. If lifestyle stress is high, cut down on competition, and see training as therapy. Do only as much as makes you feel good. Never completely avoid physical exercise when you are stressed, as exercise, as long as there is no over-training, reduces overall stress. Especially during tough times, athletes should exercise at least 30 minutes a day five days a week. Always monitor your eating and sleeping patterns, which have a direct effect on stress. Eat healthfully and get the correct amount of sleep. Regular patterns will help keep the stress level in check.

Anxiety : 

Anxiety Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components. These components combine to create an unpleasant feeling that is typically associated with uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry. Anxiety is a generalized mood condition that can often occur without an identifiable triggering stimulus. As such, it is distinguished from fear, which occurs in the presence of an observed threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable

Management of Anxiety : 

Management of Anxiety Five techniques to help you control competition anxiety:- Establishing your ‘winning feeling’ Centering The five breath technique Thought-stopping Letting go

Tension : 

Tension Tension is the root problem of all the diseases. The moment one is in tension, one loses his attention and concentration which also leads further to various physical and psychological diseases. Some of the psychological and physical diseases could be anxiety, hopelessness, anger, head ache, depression, frustration, loss of memory, loss of mind’s balance, blood clotting, high BP, palpitation, chest pain, heart attacks, chronic fatigue and even death. In today's life the tension might be due to the deal with high tech careers, fast paced business transactions, job changes, separations, illness, divorces, death of family member, financial crisis, failure in exams, etc. In today's fast life, the moment one gets up in the morning, his or her mind is full of tension to fulfill the jobs and commitments for the day at any cost.

Types of Tension : 

Types of Tension The three types of tension are Muscular Tension, Emotional Tension and Mental Tension :- Muscular Tension Emotional Tension Mental  Tension

Symptoms of Tension : 

Symptoms of Tension Some of the symptoms of tension are as follows: Tension in the face, neck and back which can be quite painful. Aggressive behaviors by which you tend to overreact to situation. Cold, sweaty hands and disrupted breathing patterns. Negative frame of mind. Heart palpitations Increased stomach acidity Loss of appetite and weight

Fear : 

Fear Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. Some psychologists such as John B. Watson, Robert Plutchik, and Paul Ekman have suggested that fear is one of a small set of basic or innate emotions. Fear is usually perceived as a negative emotion—something to be afraid of or feared in itself. What keeps fear from being something enjoyable, may be the inability to have any control. When fear comes upon us out of the blue we have little or no awareness of it. We can assume how we might react in certain situations but until the situation is upon us we may find that we react completely differently

Aggression : 

Aggression Aggression refers to any behavior that is hostile, destructive, and/or violent. Generally, aggressive behavior has the potential to inflict injury or damage to the target person or object. Examples of aggressive behavior include physical assault, throwing objects, property destruction, self-harming behaviors, and verbal threats. Aggression can have mental aspects, as well

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UNIT-II Meaning, definition and Nature of Motor Skill Learning Principles / conditions of motor skill learning Learning Curve, types and characteristics of learning curves Plateau in Learning Curve, Its Reason and Suggestion to overcome Plateau

Meaning and Definition of Motor Skill Learning : 

Meaning and Definition of Motor Skill Learning Motor skills are performed in the following three ways: Movements Actions Skills

Nature of Motor Skill Learning : 

Nature of Motor Skill Learning Learning is of many types, behavioral changes are one type and the other type is cognitive change. The most complex type of learning is motor skill learning. It is the type of learning in which movement and actions are learned. In order to learn a skill or an motor action the process goes into three different phases. Cognitive Phase Association Phase Autonomous Phase

Cognitive Phase : 

Cognitive Phase In the cognitive and beginning phase of skill learning, learner focus on gaining an understanding of how the skill is to be performed. The coach or teacher explain and describe the skill or demonstrate the skill. In this period the learner use cognitive and mental process, to gain an understanding of how the task is to be performed. The cognitive phase is characterized by much verbal activity by the learner; they “talk’ themselves through the movements. When athletes listen to the instruction of skills new to them and then observe a demonstration they begin to develop Motor Program to that skill.

Motor Program : 

Motor Program A motor program is an internal representation of the skills, and contains a set of instructions to guide movements

Associative Phase : 

Associative Phase The associative and intermediate phase of skill learning is a much longer period than the cognitive phase, ranging from perhaps a few hours for learning simple skills to several years for mastering complex ones. As learner progress to associate phase they will have to attend less and less to the physical execution of the skill. As the movement become more automated some attention can be devoted to other aspect of environment. During the associate phase of learning, athletes gradually eliminates errors. They improve their speed, accuracy and co-ordination

Autonomous Phase : 

Autonomous Phase This phase of learning emerges when the learner can perform the skill with perfection. As term implies the performance is quite automatic. In autonomous phase the learning understanding of skill is excellent. This motor program to generate the correct movement in highly developed and well settled in memory. Instead of concentrating on executing a skill, they can concentrate on other things beside training.

Principles / conditions of motor skill learning : 

Principles / conditions of motor skill learning Motor skills are foundational to all activity in life and in sports. General motor skills are an essential ingredient of all human learning, specific motor skills are acquired by those who prefer to learn specific task like sports. There are variety of principles, conditions and factors which are to be taken care of while planning physical activity programmes

Maturity:- : 

Maturity:- Physical maturity and psychological readiness are pre-requisite of learning. It is necessary for physical education teachers and coaches to ensure utmost capability between skill learning programme and children's maturity of physique, mind, intellect and spirit. If the athlete is not prepared may lead to injury or boredom.

Cognitive Ability:- : 

Cognitive Ability:- Proper perception of and cognition about a skill plays an important role in its acquisition. Much better result can be expected when children watch perfect and neat demonstration of the skills rather than theoretical information. It will provide children as a model to imitate by using their observational and mental skills

Practice:- : 

Practice:- There cannot be skill learning without practice, the amount of practice to master a skill greatly depends upon the complexity and efficiency of the skill and previous experience of the learner. Practice must be accurate, regular and hard.

Teaching Methods :- : 

Teaching Methods :- What skill children learn and how they perform that is very closely related to how they are taught; what techniques and strategies are used for optimum learning effect . Sometimes skills are very complex and they can be learnt by part to perform whole skill.

Transfer effect :- : 

Transfer effect :- Skill teaching should be so structured as to elicit and maintain greater positive transfer –effect because in this process both the teacher and the taught exercise economy in terms of time and energy. Unrelated skills have least transfer value and interferes with the informational- processing ability of the learner and leads to mental confusion.

Learning : 

Learning Smith defined “learning is acquisition of new behaviour and/or strengthening or weakening of old behaviour as a result of experience”. Learning may not be restricted to what happens as formal education at school and informal education at home. It is constantly influencing all significant sphere of life.

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Grooks & Stein (1988) project Learning as “a relatively enduring change in potential behaviour that result from experience”. This statement contains three important elements. It excludes changes in behaviour that result from anything other than experience. The potential change in behaviour may not be instantly discernible Most learning tends to produce lasting changes in the learner.

Learning Curve : 

Learning Curve Learning curve, in a sense, is a graphic representation of the progress made by an individual in an activity overtime. When placed in learning situation, a person’s initial responses to the given stimulus are generally inaccurate and full of errors. In the initial stages the improvement is greater but it takes comparatively longer time for the movement to become precise and accurate. Strengthening of the right S-R connection is a question of sustained practice and differ from individual to individual

Concave Learning Curves : 

Concave Learning Curves In this type of learning when a new skill is learned, athletes shows very less improvement in the initial phases of learning. With correct and continues practice the graph shows upward rise in the later stages of learning. This less improvement in the initial phases may be because of past experience or some previous learning. learning Duration

Convex Learning Curve : 

Convex Learning Curve In this type of learning, the graph of the process of learning, shows sudden increase while learning a new skill in the initial stages of learning. This may be due to novelty in the activity or interest for the activity. And stagnation in the learning is seen in the later stages. learning Duration

Linear learning : 

Linear learning This is the third type of learning curve in which the progress made by the athletes increases with the same speed during entire process of learning. Duration learning

Stages of learning : 

Stages of learning Learning curve shows three distinct features An initial – rise Plateau Sudden Spurt Duration learning Initial Rise Plateau Sudden Spurt

Initial Rise : 

Initial Rise The initial rise indicates rapid progress generally attributed to the novelty of activity, interest or curiosity of the learner which seem to generate greater energy enabling him to put in harder effort. With the increase in frequency of repetition through S-R bonds gets strengthen monotony begins to set in causing interest and enthusiasm wane. There is a feeling of fatigue-mental and physical.

Plateau : 

Plateau As a result, the improvement seems to be getting arrested even though the learner is putting his best. This makes a learning curve flatten leading to plateau. At this stage most athletes get discouraged. They do not know what is happening and why. How long this stage continues depends largely on the type of activity, ability of the learner and how a teacher can handle this situation.

Sudden Spurt : 

Sudden Spurt If the athlete continues the effort, there appears a sudden increase in performance and the learning curve shows an upward movement in the learning process which is known as Sudden Spurt.

Plateau in learning curve : 

Plateau in learning curve Plateau is a natural phenomenon, which is experienced in learning in any of the stages of learning. Teacher and students should not be afraid of plateau. In the process of learning the graph is not always move with the same speed and in the same direction. There are many fluctuations in learning.

Reasons of Plateau : 

Reasons of Plateau Following are the reasons of plateau:- Lack of interest Fluctuation in attention Boredom resulting from repetitiousness of a skill. Physical Exhaustion Physiological Overloading

Solution for Plateau Stage : 

Solution for Plateau Stage Plataea is unavoidable. It cannot be by-passed in any ways. Physical education teachers and coaches with their experience have take out strategies to tackle plateau situation. First, the teacher himself should be able to distinguish between the plateau period and weakening of performance – due to change of performance, due to change of style, injury or some other defect in the execution of skill.

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Second, the teacher should provide constant feedback to the learners at each step and inform that performance speed and accuracy is under plateau state at on and other time. This will help athlete to accept this reality and they should be able to boldly face the problem rather than getting scared of him. Third, teacher should be able to find out the actual cause of plateau. The reason for this may be many. Where the physical fatigue is due to over-doing, the reminder should be reduce the work load. In case of mental fatigue characterized by boredom, monotony fear etc. this is important to diagnose the actual cause and treat accordingly.

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finally, under plateau condition, encouragement and motivation are necessary to restore confidence.

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UNIT-III Meaning and definition of motivation Types of motivation Condition and factors affecting motivation Methods of motivation Motivation- Motive, Need and Drive

Meaning and definition of motivation : 

Meaning and definition of motivation Motivation is the activation or energization of goal-oriented behavior. Motivation is intensity and direction of efforts

Definitions of Motivation : 

Definitions of Motivation “….is why people do what they do…” “The direction and intensity of one’s effort” “Determination to Achieve” TASK: Think of 2 examples from professional sport where athletes show unbelievable motivation to achieve.


MOTIVATION The more motivated you are, the more likely you are to succeed The more motivated you are, the harder you will work (Apparently!) Research has indicated that there are two main forms of motivation……..

Types of Motivation : 

Types of Motivation Intrinsic motivation Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from inside an individual rather than from any external or outside rewards, such as money or grades. The motivation comes from the pleasure one gets from the task itself or from the sense of satisfaction in completing or even working on a task. Extrinsic motivation Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from outside an individual. The motivating factors are external, or outside, rewards such as money or grades. These rewards provide satisfaction and pleasure that the task itself may not provide.

Intrinsic motivation : 

Intrinsic motivation – comes from the activity itself – ‘for the love of the game’ ‘the zone’ - the ultimate You enjoy the sport regardless of the rewards You may play for fun, the satisfaction of performing well or for the pride in winning. Intrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation : 

Extrinsic motivation – comes from rewards and outside factors/pressures. Winning Prize money Rankings Sponsorship Avoid letting team down These are called extrinsic motivators Extrinsic motivation

Which is best?Intrinsic or extrinsic? : 

Which is best?Intrinsic or extrinsic? Often a mix of both Extrinsic motivators alone, are not good What happens when the sponsors pull out, or the prize money stops? The athletes often stop playing However it is intrinsic motivation that will keep us interested in sport when extrinsic rewards runs out.

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Method of Motivation : 

Method of Motivation Both situation and trait motivate students. People have multiple motive for involvement Understanding why people participate in physical activity People participate for more than one reason People have competing motives for involvement Motive change over time. Change the environment to enhance motivation. Leaders influence motivation.

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UNIT-IV Meaning and Definition of Personality Characteristics and Dimension of Personality Personality Trait and its classification Athletic Personality and Performance Attention: its Meaning and Definition Types of Attention, Nature of Attention Role of Concentration in Sports Performance

Meaning of Personality : 

Meaning of Personality Almost everyday we describe and assess the personalities of the people around us. Whether we realize it or not, these daily musings on how and why people behave as they do are similar to what personality psychologists do. While our informal assessments of personality tend to focus more on individuals, personality psychologists instead use conceptions of personality that can apply to everyone. Personality research has led to the development of a number of theories that help explain how and why certain personality traits develop.

Definition of Personality : 

Definition of Personality Personality is the dynamic organization with in the individual of those physiological and psychological factors which makes his unique adjustment to his environment.

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Characteristics of Personality

Dimension of Personality : 

Dimension of Personality The "Big Five" factors of personality are five broad domains or dimensions of personality which are used to describe human personality. The Big Five factors and their constituent traits can be summarized as follows: Openness - (inventive / curious vs. cautious / conservative). Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience Conscientiousness - (efficient / organized vs. easy-going / careless). A tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; planned rather than spontaneous behavior Extraversion - (outgoing / energetic vs. shy / withdrawn). Energy, positive emotions, urgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others. Agreeableness - (friendly / compassionate vs. competitive / outspoken). A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. Neuroticism - (sensitive / nervous vs. secure /confident). A tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability.

Personality traits and its classification : 

Personality traits and its classification According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, personality traits are "enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts." Theorists generally assume Traits are relatively stable over time, Traits differ among individuals (e.g. some people are outgoing while others are reserved), and Traits influence behavior.

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Gordon Allport delineated different kinds of traits, which he also called dispositions. Central traits are basic to an individual's personality, while secondary traits are more peripheral. Common traits are those recognized within a culture and thus may vary from culture to culture. Cardinal traits are those by which an individual may be strongly recognized Raymond Cattell's research propagated a two-tiered personality structure with sixteen "primary factors" (16 Personality Factors) and five "secondary factors Hans Eysenck believed just three traits—extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism—were sufficient to describe human personality. Differences between Cattell and Eysenck emerged due to preferences for different forms of factor analysis, with Cattell using oblique, Eysenck orthogonal, rotation to analyse the factors that emerged when personality questionnaires were subjected to statistical analysis. Today, the Big Five factors have the weight of a considerable amount of empirical research behind them, building on the work of Cattell and others.

Athletic / Sports performance and Personality : 

Athletic / Sports performance and Personality With the emergence of sports psychology, the researchers seriously began to take interest in such for those psychological factors which have the strong relationship with athletic performance. Just looking for the hierarchical structure of sport and the variety of levels at which hundred and thousand of athletes participate and perform but just a few reach the top of the spiral. Perhaps those possessing the strongest and most fortuitous combinations of these salient personality factors tends to persist in sports and become successful and outstanding athletes.

Attention : 


Attention: Definition : 

Attention: Definition Attention is taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seems several simultaneously possible object or trains of thought. It implies withdrawal from something in order to lead effectively with others.

Nature of Attention : 

Nature of Attention James definition focus on one particular aspect of concentration (Selective Attention), although a more contemporary definition views attention more broadly concentration in sports and exercise setting would typically contain three parts: Focusing on relevant environmental cues – selective attention Maintaining Antinational focus – how long attention can be maintained Situation awareness – aware about the situation

Characteristics of Attention : 

Characteristics of Attention Attention is selective in nature Attention has capacity Attention requires alertness

Types of Attention : 

Types of Attention Narrow Attention Broader Attention Internal Attention External Attention Assess Perform Analyse Reherse

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Narrow attention : It is a type of attention in which the focus of athlete’s attention remain on one or two task at a particular situation. Broad Attention : It is a attention in which athlete focus on more that two task in a given situation. Internal Attention : In this type of attention, athletes focus on the things which are internal to his/ her body. External Attention : in this, athletes attention is on those things which are present around him.

Role of Attention in Physical Education and Sport : 

Role of Attention in Physical Education and Sport Attention has always remain a central component of performance whether it is related to mental training or competition. Athletes need to focus on only the relevant cause in the athletic environment and to eliminate distraction. Eye movement pattern also confirm that expert players have a different focus of attention than have beginner players. The advance players develop the quality of no-look pass by using advance cues from the environment to predict the future performance of their team mates. Sometimes distraction comes from within our self- our thought, worries etc. called internal distraction and sometimes distraction from outsides increase the attention on irrelevant cues of environment which can leads to poor performance.

Strategies for improving Attention : 

Strategies for improving Attention The following strategies are offered for enhancing attention and managing attention problems. This listing is by no means exhaustive, but rather is meant as a place to begin : Take the Mystery Away Understand Consistent Inconsistency Explore the Option of Medication Allow for Movement and Breaks Vary Instructional Strategies Use Signals Minimize Noise & Other Distractions Leverage Interests Develop Previewing and Planning Skills Use Behavior Modification and Self-Assessment

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