Preshot Routines to Improve Competition Performance: A Case Study of a Group of Elite Pistol Shooters

in Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Vienna
  • 2 Federation University Australia
  • 3 Technical University of Munich
  • 4 University of Queensland
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Evidence shows that using a preshot routine (PSR) improves performance in self-paced, closed-skill tasks. A PSR is a set of cognitive and behavioral elements an athlete systematically engages in prior to performance execution. The present study describes the implementation and evaluation of a PSR intervention with elite pistol shooters in the 10-m air-pistol discipline. Individualized PSRs were developed with the shooters in individual psychological sessions, and the PSRs were then practiced in subsequent training sessions. Intervention effectiveness was evaluated by analyzing the shooters’ competition performance. Overall, the shooters improved on average by 2.5 points from before to after the intervention. This improvement was unlikely due to seasonal effect, as the league average (scores of league shooters not included in the intervention sample) remained stable during the study time. These results indicate that using a PSR before a shooting series has benefits for subsequent shooting performance.

Gröpel is with the Div. of Sport Psychology, Dept. of Sport Science, University of Vienna, Wien, Austria. Mesagno is with the School of Health and Life Sciences, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, VIC, Australia. Beckmann is with the Dept. of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany, and the University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Gröpel (peter.groepel@univie.ac.at) is corresponding author.
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