Choking Vs. Clutch Performance: A Study of Sport Performance Under Pressure

Choking Vs. Clutch Performance: A Study of Sport Performance Under Pressure

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qChokingq research in sport has specified that anxiety increases a sport performer's focus on his or herself, which in turn hampers their performance (Liao a Masters, 2002). However, theory has also suggested that under pressure, an athlete may give a better than usual (i.e., qclutchq) performance if they (a) are confident in their sport (Baumeister a Showers, 1986), (b) do not actively qreinvestq their attention toward the pressure task (Masters, Polman a Hammond, 1993), and (c) rely more on implicit (versus explicit) knowledge when pressured (Hardy, Mullen a Jones, 1996). The proposed study integrated these hypotheses and tested a structural equation model (SEM) to predict sport performance under pressure. Two hundred and one (N=201) participants attempted two sets of 15 basketball free throws. As a manipulation of pressure, participants were video-taped during their second set of free throws, and told before shooting that the tape would be shown to an undergraduate psychology class. Before and after shooting, questionnaires were administered to participants, to measure the individual difference and situational variables mentioned above (e.g., anxiety, self-focus, sport confidence, reinvestment, implicit and explicit knowledge). SEM results indicated that those who felt high levels of qintuitive controlq, as measured by a new self-report measure derived from implicit knowledge of a skill, performed best under pressure (p = .00). Those who reinvested their attention in the task felt more cognitive and somatic anxiety while performing (p = .00), while those with higher sport confidence were then more self-confident under pressure (p = .00). Greater somatic anxiety predicted greater self-focus (p = .00), while an inverted-U relationship existed between cognitive anxiety and self-focus (p = .00); however, self-focus was then not related to performance under pressure ( p = .25). Factor analyses of several study measures (e.g., the Reinvestment Scale; Masters et al., 1993) are included. Based on results, a reframing of choking theory is discussed, proposing that athletes react to pressure with a positive or negative appraisal, rather than simply with anxiety. Coaches and sport psychologists are encouraged to train athletes toward feelings of confidence and control, for successful performance under pressure.CHAPTER II: METHODS Participants 243 participants were recruited from undergraduate psychology classes at the University of California, Los Angeles ( UCLA) from the summer of 2006 through the spring of 2007. Participants signed upanbsp;...

Title:Choking Vs. Clutch Performance: A Study of Sport Performance Under Pressure
Author: Mark Philip Otten
Publisher:ProQuest - 2007

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