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Han-Kyu Park, Dong-Woo Kim and Tae-Ho Kim

(0.5 mm, 10 rings) at a distance of 10 m. 1 It requires psychological stability when shooting, attention and concentration, good control of respiration, aiming accuracy, time on shoot, and stability of the gun. 2 – 5 Another important factor in shooting performance is postural balance. 6 Postural

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Laura Pomportes, Jeanick Brisswalter, Arnaud Hays and Karen Davranche

complete 4 pistol shooting series, interspaced by 800-m runs. 1 During this event, irrelevant stimuli such as noise, nearby competitors, and lighting represent potential distractions, which could affect shooting performance. Within this framework, it has been well documented that moderate exercise

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John Pates, Andy Cummings and Ian Maynard

This study examined the effects of hypnosis on flow states and three-point shooting performance in 5 collegiate basketball players. The investigation utilized an ideographic single-subject multiple baselines across subjects design combined with a procedure that monitors the internal experience of the participants (Wollman, 1986). The method of intervention utilized in this study involved relaxation, imagery, hypnotic induction, hypnotic regression, and trigger control procedures. The results indicated that all five participants increased both their mean basketball three-point shooting performance and their mean flow scores from baseline to intervention. There were no overlapping data points between the baseline and intervention for either performance or flow state. Additionally, each participant indicated that they had felt the intervention was useful in keeping them confident, relaxed, and calm. These results support the hypothesis that a hypnosis intervention can improve three-point shooting performance in basketball players and increase feelings and cognitions that are associated with flow.

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Melissa J. Brown, Richard D. Tandy, Gabriele Wulf and John C. Young

Previous studies indicate that rifle shooting performance while standing is compromised when fatigued. Apprehension of suspects by police officers may involve foot pursuit and firing a weapon from a standing position. The purpose of the current study was to investigate pistol shooting performance in police officers under similar conditions of physical fatigue. Participants (mean age: 30.1 years; 4.4 years of experience as police officer) completed two shooting trials separated by an acute bout of exercise on a cycle ergometer to voluntary exhaustion. Each trial consisted of three rounds of five rapid-fire shots at a target, each round separated by a 15-s rest. Participants’ backs were turned to the target between rounds. Despite physical exertion, with an average heart rate of 164 bpm, shooting accuracy (mean distance of the closest 4 shots from the center of the target) and precision (diameter of the tightest 4-shot grouping) remained unchanged on postexercise trials relative to preexercise trials. This suggests that automatic shooting reactions override the adverse consequences of fatiguing exercise on shooting performance.

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Craig A. Wrisberg and Mark H. Anshel

This study examined the relative effectiveness of various cognitive techniques on the basketball free throw shooting performance of young athletes. Forty boys (ages 10.2–12.4 years) who were subjectively rated as good free throw shooters by staff members at a 6-week summer sports camp were randomly assigned to one of four training conditions. All initially performed 20 baseline trials of the free throw shot with a 45-sec intershot interval. After the last baseline trial the boys in each group received instructions and practiced their respective preshot techniques. The next day they received a second instructional period followed by a series of 10 free throws. During the last 15 seconds of the 45-sec intershot interval on these trials, subjects engaged in their respective preshot activity. An analysis of covariance was used to determine group differences in free throw percentage during the test trials, with free throw percentage during baseline trials used as the covariate. The results suggested that mental imagery combined with arousal adjustment is a useful preshot cognitive strategy that young athletes may use to enhance their free throw shooting performance.

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Daniel Gould, Linda Petlichkoff, Jeff Simons and Mel Vevera

This study examined whether linear or curvilinear (inverted-U) relationships exist between Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 subscale scores and pistol shooting performance in a paradigm that addressed previous design, methodological, and data analysis problems. Officers (N = 39) from the University of Illinois Police Training Institute served as subjects and participated in a pistol shooting competition. Each subject shot on five separate occasions, immediately after completing the CSAI-2 (Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1983), a multidimensional measure of state anxiety. It was predicted that cognitive state anxiety would be more related to performance than would somatic state anxiety. However, relationships between both types of anxiety and performance were predicted to support inverted-U as opposed to linear relationships. Self-confidence was predicted to be positively related to performance. Results were analyzed using the intraindividual analysis procedures recommended by Sonstroem and Bernardo (1982) and showed that cognitive anxiety was not related to performance, somatic anxiety was related to performance in a curvilinear (inverted-U) fashion, and confidence was negatively related to performance.

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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.

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Harry Prapavessis and J. Robert Grove

This study tested the utility of Morgan’s (1980) Mental Health Model and Hanin’s (1980) Zone of Optimal Function Model in an ecologically valid environment. A sample of 12 high-performance adult clay-target shooters were tested over an entire competitive season. Precompetitive mood states were assessed using Schacham’s (1983) short version of the Profile of Mood States (POMS; McNair, Lorr, & Droppleman, 1971). Results revealed partial support for Hanin’s model but no support for Morgan’s model. Discussion focuses on the importance of multiple assessments of precompetitive emotions, recognition of individual differences, and selection of a precise measure of sport performance.

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Frederick S. Daniels and Daniel M. Landers

This study investigated heart rate (HE) and respiration functioning during rifle shooting to test hypotheses derived from Schwartz's (1979) systems and disregulation theory, and to compare biofeedback with verbal instruction in developing awareness and control of autonomic patterns. Male subjects (N = 8) were pretested to determine HE and respiration patterns affecting performance. They were then divided into two equal groups and given either auditory biofeedback or verbal instruction. The auditory-biofeedback group received continuous pattern feedback through earphones while the verbal instruction group received only presession instruction without feedback. Each group trained for five sessions of 40 shots each. Following training, two 40-shot sessions were conducted. A scaled interview was administered pre- and posttraining to determine awareness/control of autonomic functioning. Compared to the verbal instruction group, the results showed that the biofeedback group significantly improved performance and consistency of the desired pattern and had significantly greater awareness/control of the autonomic pattern. The results supported the systems and disregulation theory as well as the viability of biofeedback for altering imbalances within the systems.

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Claude Karcher and Martin Buchheit

Purpose:

To (1) assess the usefulness of countermovement jump (CMJ) testing to predict handball-specific jumping ability and (2) examine the acute effect of transiently modified jumping ability (ie, flight time) on shooting efficiency in wing players.

Methods:

Eleven young highly trained wing players performed 3 CMJs and 10 typical wing jump shots with 3 different modalities: without any constraint (CONTROL), while stepping on a 14-cm step (STEP), and wearing a weighted vest (VEST, 5% of body mass). Flight time and the associated scoring efficiency during the jump shots were recorded.

Results:

There was no clear correlation between jump shot and CMJ flight time, irrespective of the condition (r = .04–.18). During jump shots, flight time was most likely longer (effect size [ES] = 1.42–1.97) with VEST (635.4 ± 31 ms) and STEP (615.3 ± 32.9 ms) than CONTROL (566 ± 30.5 ms) and very likely longer with VEST than with STEP (ES = 0.6). The correlation between scoring efficiency and jump-shot flight time was not substantial either in each modality or for all shots pooled. The difference in scoring efficiency between the 3 jumps with the longest vs shortest flight times was either small (VEST, 48% vs 42%) or nonsubstantial (2 other conditions).

Conclusions:

The use of CMJ as a predictor of handball-specific jumping ability is questioned given the dissociation between CMJ and jump-shot flying time. These results also show that transiently affected flight time may not affect scoring efficiency, which questions the importance of jumping ability for success in wing players.