The Preshot Interval and Free Throw Shooting Accuracy: An Exploratory Investigation

in The Sport Psychologist
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between preperformance behavior and performance accuracy within the context of a competitive sporting event. Data were collected during varsity and intramural basketball games at a NCAA Division I university. The measures included length of the preshot interval and the number of free throws attempted and made by each player. From these data, the mean and within-subject standard deviation of preshot interval scores and free throw percentages were derived, and pairwise correlations among the measures were calculated. One-way MANOVA tests were performed to determine whether selected individual-difference and situational variables significantly influenced any of the measures. Of primary importance was the finding of a significant negative correlation between standard deviation of preshot interval and free throw percentage, indicating that higher percentage shooters maintained a higher level of temporal consistency in executing their preshot routines than did lower percentage shooters. Implications for the use of preshot interval data in research and intervention by sport psychology consultants are discussed.

C.A. Wrisberg is with the Department of Human Performance and Sport Studies, 344 HPER, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-2700. R.L. Pein is now with the Department of Physical Education at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI 54601.

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