Elite College Quarterback Cognitive Functioning: A Qualitative Examination of Cognitive Processing and Mental Skills among Elite College Quarterbacks

Author Details

Joshua Jackson, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Claudia Day, Eli J. Friedman, Kenneth Davis

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Published

Published: 16 May 2024 | Article Type : Research Article

Abstract

The quarterback position is the focal point of our nation’s most popular sport, football. Playing quarterback requires an athlete to have advanced knowledge of the game, increased mental capabilities, and a skill set like no other in the sport. Being able to make split-second decisions--when stress and consequences are at their highest--is crucial to a quarterback’s success. The multitude of stressors and changing stimuli in a college football game will always be present, but each individual experiences and manages these stressors differently. Every quarterback playing the game of football must operate across multiple levels of attentional foci, they must access and employ different cognitive processes, and they need to utilize mental skills to be successful. In an effort to expand our understanding of the integral quarterback position, in this study we empirically examined an array of elite NCAA Division I quarterbacks’ cognitive processes. We qualitatively collected data through semi-structured interviews of elite collegiate quarterbacks across the country, and results highlighted the different cognitive processes, attentional foci, and mental skills that quarterbacks use to be successful. The results of this study can help us better understand the cognitive processes, mental skills, and attentional foci used by elite college quarterbacks to make the necessary decisions to perform effectively in the game of football.

Keywords: Attentional Focus, Cognitive, Sport Psychology, Football Quarterback.

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Citation:

Joshua Jackson, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Claudia Day, Eli J. Friedman, Kenneth Davis. (2024-05-16). "Elite College Quarterback Cognitive Functioning: A Qualitative Examination of Cognitive Processing and Mental Skills among Elite College Quarterbacks." *Volume 6*, 1, 10-20