About 2 years ago, I wrote a somewhat tongue in cheek article suggesting that one element of the performance decline of the Australian cricket team could be the new tattoos on two key players – Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson. The suggestion was that the altered inputs into the schema (neurosignatures) of the tattooed body part may have been enough to create a sensory motor incongruence leading to perturbed motor outputs. Even minor incongruence may lead to significantly altered performance outputs in an athlete dealing with a cricket ball travelling at 150Kph.
I have been proven so wrong (again!) Clarke and Johnson have been magnificent in the recent Australia vs England Ashes series. Clarke is clearly Australia’s best run maker if not the world’s best at the moment and Johnson’s bowling has been superb, at times unplayable and a major factor in the current Australian dominance of England.
In the original Noinotes, I also made the comment that the current state of happiness with a tattoo may reflect on the sports performance at that moment. I also suggested that a much loved and integrated tattoo may even enhance the finery of the representation of the limb in the brain and even improve motor outputs.
Perhaps the second suggestion is correct – maybe it took a while for Clarke and Johnson to effectively embody the tattoos, maybe you have to look at it for a long time and use it in as many contexts as possible to get the best embodiment. Maybe your team mates, friends and family have to get used to it as well? But maybe tattoos have nothing to do with sports performance? Either way, Australians are enjoying and relishing this unexpected dominance over the old foes!