The concept of trust in performing complex automatic motor skills involves letting go of conscious controlling tendencies often learned during skill acquisition. Theories of motor control provide a framework for automatic selection and execution of movement sequences during skilled performance. Trust is viewed as a psychological skill in which the athlete releases conscious control over movements, thus allowing the automatic execution of the schema that have been developed through training. This paper defines and characterizes trust and its role in the performance of automatic sport skills, with the goal of suggesting a path for applied research concerning trust and sport skills performance.
The authors are with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Dept. of HPERS, Sports Medicine Bldg., East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353.