Tag Archives: Game

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

It’s the oldest piece of advice in the history of sports that use balls in the playing thereof.

Seriously, dudes, what did your dads tell you when you were learning how to hit a baseball that actually moved off the tee and was headed right for you?

Yeah.

“Keep your eye on the ball.”

It’s a piece of advice and, also, a metaphor. It means for you to literally keep your gaze on the ball you’re about to either hit with a stick or kick or whatever. Watch the ball until your planned maneuver is finished. This allows you to concentrate more fully on what you want to do, rather than have just any old thing happen.

It’s also a metaphor for making sure you keep your objective in mind as you pursue it. Keep your eye on the ball and don’t get sidetracked watching Youtube videos when you’ve got a history paper. That sort of thing.

Very good advice in either case. We all know it. We all do it.

As it turns out, we don’t. And we know this because there are very many people who want to become much better golfers. No, really.

Recently, researchers in England set out to determine whether weekend golfers could improve their game through one of two approaches. Some were coached on individual swing technique, while others were instructed to gaze fixedly at the ball before putting. The researchers hoped to learn not only whether looking at the ball affects performance, but also whether where we look changes how we think and feel while in action.

 Although we’re taught this sort of thing in elementary school or earlier, there’s a growing body of research that says people are looking away when they thought they weren’t or looking for far shorter times than they had thought they were. It’s almost like we can’t believe our own eyes.
So these researchers divided the subjects up into one group that got putting practice and one group that was trained in “Quiet Eye” looking.

Quiet Eye training, as the name suggests, is an attempt to get people to stop flicking their focus around so much. But “Quiet Eye training is not just about looking at the ball,” says Mark Wilson, who led the study, published in Psychophysiology, and is a senior lecturer in human movement science at the University of Exeter in England. “It is about looking at the ball for long enough to process aiming information.” It involves reminding players to first briefly sight toward the exact spot where they wish to send the ball, and then settle their eyes onto the ball and hold them there.

 A quiet, focused eye, in other words, seems to encourage a quiet, focused mind, which then makes for more accurate putting.

So, after all that training, what was the result? Well, it turns out that the people who refined their putting technique didn’t do as well as those who only trained their eyes and learned to look with a quieter, more firm focus.

The thing I find most interesting about all this, is the idea that — because we all were taught this at a young age — we assume we’re already doing it; already keeping our eyes on the ball. And we’re not. Simply refocusing ourselves on some of the most elementary parts of a complex process can generate greatly improved results.

Something to think about, yeah?


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Kickstart This, Flyboy

by Richard

Crowdfunding is a wonderful idea.

Basically, crowdfunding means going somewhere and talking up what a great idea you have and how cool it would be to produce this idea, if only you had the money.

Then you rely on donations from a whole bunch of people, a veritable crowd funding the idea. You dudes see where the whole process got its name, yeah?

Well, the best-known of these sorts of sites is a place called Kickstarter. I love Kickstarter. I’ve supported a handfull of really worthy projects, helping bring to reality some really cool things that I just can’t wait to have in my sweaty little hands.

Which is why I’m coming to you, loyal duders, because I think you will love this idea. Take one hefty dose of Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and then add in a cool video game for the iPad, some dedicated and creative teachers and shake well, like the perfect martini.

Give it enough money (hint, hint) and let it germinate. Then you’ve got something wonderful like this.

 

Basically, we’re talking about using a cool game in which you fly like a seagull to teach kids about difficult-to-grasp concepts like aerodynamics and physics.

From the website: There are several forces engaged when a bird or plane flies, and here on earth we’re unable to see any of them. But never fear!  Bill Nye andGameDesk have a revolutionary idea! With your help we can complete a game that teaches the physics behind flight by allowing players to literally become a bird and experience those scientific principles in their own hands. 

Yeah, dudes, that does sound cool. So cool, in fact, I already went there and pledged to give some money to the group.

You’ve got to know that the US is lagging behind other nations in the number of scientists we produce. This is something that can help reverse that decline, by hooking young, impressionable minds on the wonders of the natural world, the fascinating puzzles to be solved using science, and the fun you can have while working on it all.

So, really, dudes, go here and give a couple of bucks. There’s only 28 more days left until this baby is either funded or scrapped. Let’s do our part to make sure it’s funded, all right, crowd?

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