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Anxiety on Quiet Eye and Performance of Youth Pistol Shooters

Eesha J. Shah, Jia Yi Chow, and Marcus J.C. Lee

In adults, longer quiet-eye (QE) durations have been associated with more successful sport performances and less deterioration in skill during anxiety-inducing situations. This study aimed to establish if QE patterns in youth are similar to those reported in adults. Ten youth shooters, age 13.13 ± 0.83 years, completed an air-pistol task under a control and an anxiety condition. Mixed-design 2 (performance outcome) × 2 (condition) ANOVA tests were conducted with two performance measures—objective and coach rated. No significant main or interaction effects were found. Unlike in adults, performance and anxiety did not differentiate QE duration in youth athletes, although QE duration was longer during good shots than poor shots across both performance measures, and the shortest durations were recorded during poor shots in the anxiety condition. This preliminary exploration encourages more research with youth athletes to determine the efficacy of QE patterns across different learners.

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Motion-Onset Visual Potentials Evoked in a Sport-Specific Visuomotor Reaction Task

Thorben Hülsdünker, Martin Ostermann, and Andreas Mierau

Although neural visual processes play a crucial role in sport, experiments have been restricted to laboratory conditions lacking ecological validity. Therefore, this study examined the feasibility of measuring visual evoked potentials in a sport-specific visuomotor task. A total of 18 international elite young table tennis athletes (mean age 12.5 years) performed a computer-based and a sport-specific visuomotor reaction task in response to radial motion-onset stimuli on a computer screen and table tennis balls played by a ball machine, respectively. A 64-channel electroencephalography system identified the N2 and N2-r motion-onset visual evoked potentials in the motion-sensitive midtemporal visual area. Visual evoked potential amplitudes were highly correlated between conditions (N2 r = .72, N2-r r = .74) although significantly lower in the sport-specific task than in the lab-based task (N2 p < .001, N2-r p < .001). The results suggest that sport-specific visual stimulation is feasible to evoke visual potentials. This emphasizes the investigation of visual processes under more ecologically valid conditions in sport and exercise science.

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The Quiet Eye and Expertise: Sustained Fixations Do Not Transfer to Unpracticed Throws Among Expert Dart Players

Jason Flindall, Scott Sinnett, and Alan Kingstone

The length of the last visual fixation before the critical final phase of a movement—the quiet eye (QE) fixation—is positively correlated with expertise and success. The present study tested the potential for intraskill transfer of QE durations in order to determine whether it is intrinsically linked to expertise development or is a separable skill that may be employed to improve performance under novel circumstances. The authors tracked highly skilled dart throwers’ gazes while they executed familiar (highly practiced) and familiar yet novel (distance/effector-modified) sport-specific actions. QE duration was significantly reduced when performing in unfamiliar conditions, suggesting that QE does not transfer to atypical conditions and may therefore be a result of—rather than a contributor to—expertise development. These results imply that intraskill transfer of QE is limited and, consistent with the inhibition hypothesis of QE development, argue against the value of teaching QE as an independent means of improving performance.

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Evaluative Threat Increases Effort Expenditure in a Cycling Exercise: An Exploratory Study

Leila Selimbegović, Olivier Dupuy, Julie Terache, Yannick Blandin, Laurent Bosquet, and Armand Chatard

Research shows that negative or threatening emotional stimuli can foster movement velocity and force. However, less is known about how evaluative threat may influence movement parameters in endurance exercise. Based on social self-preservation theory, the authors predicted that evaluative threat would facilitate effort expenditure in physical exercise. In an exploratory study, 27 young men completed a bogus intelligence test and received either low-intelligence-quotient feedback (evaluative threat) or no feedback (control). Next, they were asked to pedal on a stationary bicycle for 30 min at a constant cadence. After 10 min (calibration period), the cadence display was hidden. Findings show that participants under evaluative threat increased cadence more than control participants during the subsequent 20-min critical period. These findings underline the potential importance of unrelated evaluative threat on physical performance.

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Digest

Kim Gammage, Lori Dithurbide, Alison Ede, Karl Erickson, Blair Evans, Larkin Lamarche, Sean Locke, Eric Martin, Desi McEwan, and Kathleen Wilson

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Volume 42 (2020): Issue 3 (Jun 2020)

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Fitness-Related Self-Conscious Emotions and Risk for Exercise Addiction: Examining the Mediating Role of Passion

Alvaro Sicilia, Manuel Alcaraz-Ibáñez, Delia C. Dumitru, Adrian Paterna, and Mark D. Griffiths

Fitness-related self-conscious emotions (SCEs) have been proposed as antecedents of exercise addiction (EA). However, the potential mechanisms underlying such a relationship remain unexplored. The present study examined the relationship between fitness-related SCEs and risk of EA, as well as the mediating role of passion for exercise. A total of 296 male runners (M = 40.35 years, SD = 10.69) completed a survey assessing weekly exercise frequency/hours, fitness-related SCEs, passion for exercise, and the risk of EA. The relationships between the study variables were examined using structural equation modeling. After controlling for age and weekly exercise frequency/hours, fitness-related SCEs of shame, guilt, and hubristic pride were positively associated with risk of EA. However, while guilt had direct effects on risk of EA, shame and hubristic pride showed indirect effects via obsessive passion. The results of the study are discussed, and some practical implications and future research directions are presented.

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Locker-Room Experiences Among LGBTQ+ Adults

Shannon S.C. Herrick and Lindsay R. Duncan

Locker rooms operate as pivotal access points to physical activity across sports, physical education, and fitness facilities. However, locker rooms are predicated on cis-heterosexual assumptions that can be isolating to LGBTQ+ individuals. Using an online cross-sectional survey, LGBTQ+ adults (N = 1,067) were asked open-response questions about their past and present locker-room experiences. The resulting texts were independently coded by two researchers using thematic analysis and compared. All discrepancies were discussed with and rectified by a third researcher who acted as a critical peer. The results present distinct experiences across three intersecting aspects of embodiment: self-conscious—“I hate(d) being seen,” sexual transgression, and gender transgression. The findings provide insight into how harmful LGBTQ+ stereotypes influence locker-room experiences and support the redesign of locker rooms to challenge the binary organization of these spaces.

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We Are the Champions, But How Do We Respond? Savoring and Dampening in Response to Championship Victories Among Passionate Sports Fans

Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg, Jérémie Verner-Filion, and Patrick Gaudreau

The aim of this research was to test if the ways passionate sport fans respond immediately after an important team victory depend on the extent to which passion is harmonious or obsessive. Fans of Liverpool F.C. (n = 299) and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (n = 334) completed online surveys shortly after their teams had won an important championship game. Fans answered questions assessing passion and the extent to which they engaged in savoring (i.e., attempting to maintain, augment, or prolong positive emotions) and dampening (i.e., attempting to stifle positive emotions) after the victory. In both samples, the authors found that both harmonious and obsessive passion predicted greater savoring, but only obsessive passion predicted greater dampening. These findings build on previous research and suggest an additional reason for which harmonious and obsessive passion among sport fans tend to predict more and less adaptive outcomes, respectively.

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Performance on an Associative Memory Test Decreases 8 hr After Cardiovascular Exercise

Arth R.R. Pahwa, Dylan J. Miller, Jeremy B. Caplan, and David F. Collins

This study was designed to assess the effects of acute exercise on performance of a paired associate learning (PAL) test, an operationalization of hippocampal-dependent associative memory. Participants performed a PAL test and then ran on a treadmill (exercise group, n = 52) or solved Sudoku puzzles (control group, n = 54). Participants returned 2, 5, or 8 hr later to perform a second, different, PAL test. PAL scores for the control group did not change over time. Similarly, scores on tests taken 2 and 5 hr after exercise were not different from baseline or control data. Scores on tests taken 8 hr after exercise, however, fell significantly below baseline (by 8.6%) and control (by 9.8%) scores. These data demonstrate that acute exercise can negatively affect the encoding and retrieval of new information even hours after the exercise bout, which should be a consideration when designing exercise programs to enhance, and not hinder, learning.