I agree. The Rosary is the perfect example. You can recite the words and think about sports, or anything else, except God. That's OK to an extent. After all, intention in prayer is what counts. But it's only when you pray with and from your heart, that the Rosary sails up to the heavens.
Heartfelt praying bumps the pray up exponentially.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.