Although researchers have experimentally examined the mechanisms underlying pressure-induced forms of suboptimal performance, or “choking under pressure,” there is a lack of research exploring the personal experience of this phenomenon. In an attempt to fill this void in the literature, this study explored experienced golfers’ perceptions of the choking experience within a personal construct psychology (Kelly, 1955/1991) framework. Both male and female golfers participated in either a focus group (n = 12; all males) or one-on-one interview (n = 10; female = 7, male = 3) using experience cycle methodology (Oades & Viney, 2000) to describe their perceptions of the choking experience. Discussions were transcribed verbatim and subsequently analyzed using grounded theory analytical techniques (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Analyses revealed five central categories representing the personal experience of choking under pressure: antecedents, personal investment, choking event, consequences, and learning experiences. The findings reported here suggest that the choking phenomenon, which can involve acute or chronic bouts of suboptimal performance (relative to the performance expectations of the athlete), is a complex process involving the interplay of several cognitive, attentional, emotional, and situational factors. Implications of the findings for a construct definition of choking are discussed, and several applied considerations are offered.
Daniel F. Gucciardi, Jay-Lee Longbottom, Ben Jackson and James A. Dimmock
Eduardo Bellomo, Andrew Cooke and James Hardy
execution at a reduced cognitive cost (e.g., Willingham, 1998 ). However, even after automatization, skill execution is not flawless, and from time to time, so-called choking (i.e., movement failures under pressure) can occur even in the most skilled professionals ( Baumeister, 1984 ). A motor learning
Fatemeh Azadinia, Ismail Ebrahimi-Takamjani, Mojtaba Kamyab, Morteza Asgari and Mohamad Parnianpour
, 2007 ; Reeves, Everding, Cholewicki, & Morrisette, 2006 ). One of the most common methods for assessing postural stability is to record center of pressure (CoP) excursions during quiet standing in response to balance perturbation caused by support surface manipulation (e.g., standing on a hard surface
Valentina Agostini, Emma Chiaramello and Marco Knaflitz
Static posturography provides an objective assessment of postural control by characterizing the body sway during upright standing. The center of pressure (COP) signal is recorded by a force platform, and it is analyzed by means of many different models and techniques. Most of the parameters calculated according to these different approaches are affected by relevant intra- and intersubject variability or do not have a clear physiological interpretation. Traditional approaches decompose the COP signal into anteroposterior and mediolateral time series, corresponding to ankle plantar/dorsiflexion and hip adduction/abduction, respectively. In this study we hypothesized that COP signals show inherent rotational characteristics. To verify our hypothesis we applied the rotary spectra analysis to the two-dimensional COP signal to decompose it into clockwise and counterclockwise rotational components. We demonstrated the presence of rotational components in the COP signal of healthy subjects, providing a reference data set of the spectral characteristics of these components.
Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel
Figure skaters are evaluated on the execution of challenging technical skills as well as how those skills are packaged with other performance components, including costume, music, choreography, and physical appearance ( Cummins, 2007 ). Male and female skaters report experiencing pressure from a
Susan Lagaert, Mieke Van Houtte and Henk Roose
; Messner & Musto, 2014 ; Qvortrup et al., 2009 ), we evaluate three possible mechanisms behind the gendering of taste that receive increasing attention in sports sociology: gender identity, pressure to conform to gender stereotypes and gender role attitudes ( Boiché, Plaza, Chalabaev, Guillet
Thiago Correa Porto Gonçalves, Atila Alexandre Trapé, Jhennyfer Aline Lima Rodrigues, Simone Sakagute Tavares and Carlos Roberto Bueno Junior
of multicomponent training resulted in an increase in NO and antioxidant capacity and a decrease in blood pressure (BP) in women aged between 50 and 80 years; however, these results seem to be associated with the nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3) genotypes and haplotypes ( Trapé et al., 2017
Yumeng Li, Melissa A. Mache and Teri A. Todd
common feature of ASD, 12 could result in activity avoidance. Most of the studies surrounding the postural stability have utilized traditional linear analyses of center of pressure (COP) and found that children with ASD demonstrated greater sway displacements, 13 , 14 sway areas, 8 , 9 SDs of sway
This study investigated the effect of psychological pressure on spinal reflex excitability. Thirteen participants performed a balancing task by standing on a balance disk with one foot. After six practice trials, they performed one nonpressure and one pressure trial involving a performance-contingent cash reward or punishment. Stress responses were successfully induced; state anxiety, mental effort, and heart rates all increased under pressure. Soleus Hoffmann reflex amplitude in the pressure trial was significantly smaller than in the nonpressure trial. This modification of spinal reflexes may be caused by presynaptic inhibition under the control of higher central nerve excitation under pressure. This change did not prevent 12 of the 13 participants from successfully completing the postural control task under pressure. These results suggest that Hoffmann reflex inhibition would contribute to optimal postural control under stressful situations.
Rob Gray and Jonathan Allsop
How is performance under pressure influenced by the history of events that precede it, and how does the pressure outcome influence the series of events that follow? A baseball batting simulation was used with college players to investigate these questions. In Experiment 1, the difficulty of the simulation was first adaptively adjusted to equate performance level. Batters next completed 20 at-bats used to classify them into one of three performance groups (normal, cold streak, or hot streak) followed by a one at-bat pressure condition. Finally, performance was evaluated over a period of 20 postpressure at-bats. In Experiment 2, a series of secondary tasks were added to assess attentional focus. In both experiments, whether batters succeeded or failed under pressure was significantly related to their performance history immediately before the pressure event, with the normal group having the poorest pressure performance. Performance postpressure was significantly related to both the pressure outcome and prepressure performance. These performance effects were related to changes in the batter’s attentional focus as shown by changes in secondary task accuracy.