Working memory is an important aspect of learning, comprehension and reasoning. From driving your car down the street to remembering the groceries you need at the store, everyday people all over the world rely on it to complete their daily tasks. Yet it is only relatively recently that working memory has garnered attention by the field of sports psychology.
What is working memory:
Working memory is the ability to hold and work with numerous ideas and concepts in the mind simultaneously. It can also be defined as an individual’s ability to consciously hold and utilize information. Many psychologists consider it to be a true indication of an individual’s intelligence, even more so than IQ.
What role does working memory play in sports:
While it may not be glaringly obvious, working memory is a crucial aspect of many sports. This is evident by the quarterback who not only has to hold numerous plays in his mind simultaneously, but also must be conscious and aware of his own teammates and competitors positions on the field. It has been found that individuals with a higher working memory are better able to stay focused on a particular task – which is imperative for any athlete. A study in Sweden found that elite athletes scored higher on working memory tasks than amateur athletes, and the researchers believe that this was because an enhanced working memory helps athlete’s process and comprehend what is going on during the game. A strong working memory allows an athlete to continually change and adapt their own game plan, while also predicting their competitors.
How can you improve your working memory:
The Qball is the ideal tool to improve and enhance working memory. Each side of the Qball is imprinted with a different number, allowing individuals to engage in mathematical and memory games while playing with the Qball. A fun and simple way to exercise your working memory is to bounce the Qball and note the number that comes out on top. As you continue bouncing the Qball memorize the sequence of numbers that come out on top and after 4 bounces stop and recite the numbers. As you improve start increasing the amount of numbers that you memorize. Before long you will notice that you mind can hold a longer and longer sequence of numbers. This game not only exercises your memory, but also strengthens your hand-eye coordination, focus, reflexes and reaction time.