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Valerie J. Rich

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Allen E. Cornelius, Maureen K. Copeskey and Britton W. Brewer

Research exploring spontaneously generated self-talk has involved recording performers’ self-talk categorized by researchers. The actor-observer bias, suggests that actors (performers) and observers (researchers) may perceive the same situation (e.g., self-talk) differently. The purpose of this study was to explore the actor-observer bias and validity of self-talk categorization. College students’ (n = 30) spontaneous self-talk was audio recorded during a dart throwing task. Participants then listened to and categorized their self-talk. Three independent researchers reviewed written transcripts and categorized the self-talk. Another three researchers who had not read the transcripts listened to audio recordings and categorized the same self-talk. Results confirmed actor-observer bias predictions. Spontaneous self-talk ratings made by participants were similar to but distinct from those made by researchers reading transcripts or listening to self-talk audio recordings. These results suggest that participant categorization of spontaneous self-talk may be a valid strategy to enhance understanding of self-talk used in competitive settings.

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Tim Woodman, Matthew Barlow and Recep Gorgulu

We present two novel tests of Wegner’s (1994) theory of ironic processes of mental control using a hockey penalty-shooting task (Study 1) and a dart throwing task (Study 2). In Study 1 we aimed to address a significant limitation of ironic effects research in a performance setting by differentiating nonironic performance error from specifically ironic performance error. When instructed not to miss in a specific direction, anxious performers did so a significantly greater number of times; importantly, there was no difference in nonironic error, which provides the first specific support for Wegner’s theory in a performance setting. In Study 2, we present the first examination of the precision of ironic errors. When anxious, participants performed not only more ironically but also performed more precisely in the to-be-avoided zone than when they were not anxious. We discuss the results in the context of the importance of specific instructions in coaching environments.

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Chris Englert and Alex Bertrams

In the present article, we analyzed the role of self-control strength and state anxiety in sports performance. We tested the hypothesis that self-control strength and state anxiety interact in predicting sports performance on the basis of two studies, each using a different sports task (Study 1: performance in a basketball free throw task, N = 64; Study 2: performance in a dart task, N = 79). The patterns of results were as expected in both studies: Participants with depleted self-control strength performed worse in the specific tasks as their anxiety increased, whereas there was no significant relation for participants with fully available self-control strength. Furthermore, different degrees of available self-control strength did not predict performance in participants who were low in state anxiety, but did in participants who were high in state anxiety. Thus increasing self-control strength could reduce the negative anxiety effects in sports and improve athletes’ performance under pressure.

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Ebrahim Norouzi, Fatemeh Sadat Hosseini, Mohammad Vaezmosavi, Markus Gerber, Uwe Pühse and Serge Brand

particularly true for sports such as shooting, archery, and darts, in which higher motor learning and excellent fine motor control are crucial to success and the accuracy of performance ( Rienhoff, Baker, Fischer, Strauss, & Schorer, 2012 ; Vickers, Rodrigues, & Edworthy, 2000 ). In the present study, we

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Peter Suedfeld, Drew E. Collier and Bruce D.G. Hartnett

Previous studies using flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) to enhance motor performance have focused on relatively gross arm and leg movements and have combined the technique with a variety of imaginal practice and relaxation training procedures. This study independently varied REST and an imaginal training and relaxation script to improve accuracy among novice, intermediate, and expert darts players. REST by itself and REST combined with the script were equally effective in enhancing performance (M change about +12%). The imagery script alone and a no-treatment control condition resulted in no change on test-retest measures. The results indicate that in the area of perceptual-motor coordination, REST is not merely a potentiator of other techniques, but a useful and efficient unimodal intervention, which takes a short time and does not require further rehearsal or repetition.

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Ross Roberts, Mike Rotheram, Ian Maynard, Owen Thomas and Tim Woodman

The present investigation examined whether perfectionism might predict whether an athlete would suffer from the ‘yips’ (a long term movement disorder consisting of involuntary movements that affects the execution of motor skills). A sample of ‘yips’-affected individuals from golf, cricket, and darts as well as a sport-matched sample of non ’yips’-affected athletes completed the shortened version of Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate’s (1990) multidimensional perfectionism scale (FMPS). Results revealed that three aspects of perfectionism (personal standards, organization, and concern over mistakes) were associated with a greater likelihood of suffering from the ‘yips’, indicating that ‘yips’ sufferers had an unhealthy perfectionism profile. The results highlight perfectionism as a possible antecedent of the ‘yips’ experience within sport.

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Martha L. Epstein

This study examined the relationship of internal and external imaginal rehearsal and imaginal style to skilled motor behavior. Dart throwing was used as the dependent measure of physical performance. All subjects were randomly assigned to a control group, an internal mental rehearsal group, or an external mental rehearsal group. After assessing baseline performance, subjects were instructed to mentally rehearse before throwing sets of three darts. Control subjects were given a distracting task prior to throws. The results showed a slight, negative relation between spontaneous external imagery and physical performance. The mental rehearsal factor, however, was not significant. Males significantly outperformed females, and imagery groups had more variability in improvement scores than the control group for women but not for men. It was proposed that females' lower dart-throwing ability may have caused mental practice to be distracting for some subjects, and thus increased improvement variability in the mental rehearsal group. Conclusions regarding the concept of imaginal style as well as the negative relation between motor performance and the propensity to use external imagery were offered.

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Sachi Ikudome, Kou Kou, Kisho Ogasa, Shiro Mori and Hiroki Nakamoto

explanations for the positive effect of choice on motor learning (i.e., deeper information processing or increased intrinsic motivation) have been suggested (see also Sanli, Patterson, Bray, & Lee, 2012 ). In Experiment 1, we allowed participants to choose the color of their darts (i.e., an irrelevant

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Jón Gregersen, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, Evangelos Galanis, Nikos Comoutos and Athanasios Papaioannou

attention ( Schmeichel & Baumeister, 2010 ), and in sport contexts, decision-making (basketball: Furley, Bertrams, Englert, & Delphia, 2013 ) and distractibility (darts: Englert Zwemmer, Bertrams, & Oudejans, 2015 ; basketball: Englert, Bertrams, Furley, & Oudejans, 2015 ). A meta-analysis on 83 studies