Choking research in sport has suggested that an athlete's tendency to choke, versus give a better than usual (i.e., “clutch”) performance depends on his or her personality, as well as on situational influences, such as a reliance on explicit (versus implicit) knowledge when pressured. The current study integrated these hypotheses and tested a structural equation model (SEM) to predict sport performance under pressure. Two hundred and one participants attempted two sets of 15 basketball free throws, and were videotaped during their second set of shots as a manipulation of pressure. Results of the model suggest that “reinvesting” attention in the task leads to greater anxiety (cognitive and somatic), which then predicts a higher level of self-focus; self-focus, then, did not lead to improved performance under pressure, whereas feelings of self-reported “perceived control” did help performance. Implications for measurement of these constructs, and their relationships with performance, are discussed.
Mark P. Otten and Ashley Samson
Nick Galli, Skye Shodahl, and Mark P. Otten
Because an athletes’ body is central to their identity, it is important to consider the ramifications of retirement from sport on their well-being. Using a single-group pre–post test design, the purpose of this exploratory study was to expand on the current state of knowledge regarding the body image and health behavior transition of retired intercollegiate athletes. Ten athletes from three institutions completed demographic and health behavior questions, the Body-Image Ideals Questionnaire, and selected items from the Body Parts Satisfaction Scale-Revised online prior to and after retirement (M = 305 days). Although most athletes reported maintaining healthy patterns of nutrition and physical activity in retirement, results showed that body satisfaction significantly declined, and that actual–ideal body discrepancy increased, albeit to a nonsignificant degree. National Collegiate Athletic Association athletics departments to consider how they can more effectively empower athletes to take care of and appreciate their body even after the final performance.