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The Effects of Centering on the Free-Throw Shooting Performance of Young Athletes

Karen Haddad and Patsy Tremayne

The present study investigated the effectiveness of a centering breath on the free throw shooting percentage of young athletes age 10–11 years. A convenience sample was used involving young representative basketball players (juniors who were trialed, selected, and identified as the most talented basketball players in their age group). They consisted of 2 females and 3 males (M = 10 years and 7 months, SD = 6months), from a basketball stadium located in Sydney, Australia. The participants trained at least twice a week and played representative games against other metropolitan associations on the weekends. A single subject multiple-baseline design was used, and through the use of visual inspection the centering breath was shown to be a useful tool for improving all participants’ performance to varying degrees. The findings indicate that it may be advantageous to explore the effectiveness of centering or other psychological skills in a variety of sport skills (closed versus open), and for children of different age groups.