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Barbara Ann Boyce

This study investigated the effect of goal proximity on skill acquisition and retention of a selected shooting task. Twelve classes (n=181) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (a) short-term goals, (b) a long-term goal, (c) short-term plus long-term goals, and (d) do-your-best goals. The pretest and six skill acquisition/retention trials were analyzed in a 4×2×6 (Goal Groups × Gender × Trials) MANCOVA design with repeated measures on the last factor and with the pretest as the covariate. Results of a multivariate F test revealed significant main effects for goal groups, gender, and trials. Post hoc tests indicated that the three specific goal-setting groups were superior to the do-your-best group. Males were statistically superior to females in the shooting task. The follow-up tests on trials revealed that as trials progressed, shooting performance improved significantly.

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B. Ann Boyce

This study investigated the effect of instructor-set performance goals on skill acquisition and retention of a selected shooting task. Utilizing a modified two-stage sampling technique, six classes (90 potential subjects) were assigned to one of two conditions: with instructor-set performance goals or without instructor-set performance goals. Subjects received a pretest trial, five skill acquisition trials, and a retention trial on a selected shooting task (kneeling). The results indicated that the performance-goal group was significantly more effective than the non-performance-goal group. There was a significant difference across trials. Further, there was a significant interaction effect, and when follow-up tests were applied the results indicated that the group who received the instructor-stated performance goals was significantly better than the non-performance-goal group during Trials 2-5 and the retention trials. The findings are related to how performance goals affect skill acquisition and retention.

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B. Ann Boyce

This study investigated the effect of three goal-setting conditions on skill acquisition and retention of a selected shooting task. Utilizing a two-stage random-sampling technique, nine classes (N=138 subjects) were assigned to one of three conditions: (a) assigned specific goals, (b) participant-set specific goals, and (c) generalized do-your-best goals. The pretest and five skill acquisition trials were analyzed in a 3×6 (Goal groups × Trials) MANOVA design with repeated measures on the last factor. The procedure for the retention trial resulted in a 3×1 (Goal groups × Trial) ANOVA design. Results indicated a significant groups-by-trials interaction. The follow-up analyses revealed that the two specific goal-setting groups (assigned and participant-set goals) were significantly superior to the do-your-best group during the second, fourth, fifth, and retention trials.

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B. Ann Boyce

This field-based study investigated the effect of an instructional strategy with two schedules of augmented knowledge-of-performance (KP) feedback on skill acquisition of a selected shooting task. Students enrolled in university rifle classes (N=135) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (a) instructional strategy (IS) with KP feedback after every trial, (b) IS with summary KP feedback, and (c) no IS with no KP feedback. Data collection consisted of (a) a pretest phase (one set of five trials) and (b) an acquisition phase (four sets of five trials). Instructional integrity was maintained during data collection so that students were treated as class participants. The findings indicated that (a) the presence of the instructional strategy in conjunction with the two feedback schedules appeared to positively effect the overall shooting performance as compared to no strategy/no KP, (b) the effects of the two KP schedules did not statistically differ from one another, and (c) the significant effect for trials indicated that as shooting practice progressed subjects in all three conditions appeared to improve.

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Bruce Howe and Rob Poole

The purpose of this study was to test the effects of goal proximity and achievement motivation on basketball shooting performance in a regular physical education class setting. Data were collected on 79 male Grade 10 students. One week prior to the beginning of a 4-week basketball unit, students were categorized as high achievers and low achievers based on their achievement score on the Howe Sport Behavior Assessment Scale. Within each achievement group, subjects were randomly assigned to either a weekly short-term goal group, a long-term goal group, or a short-term-plus-longterm goal group. Subjects completed the Speed Spot Shooting Test once every week to measure their performance in relation to their assigned goals. No significant differences among the variables were revealed. A postexperimental questionnaire revealed that a majority of students from all goal conditions were setting their own short-term goals. Results are discussed in terms of Bandura’s self-efficacy theory of motivation and the use of goals in motor skill tasks in physical education.

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Aodhagán Conlon, Rachel Arnold, Ezio Preatoni, and Lee J. Moore

intervention on psychophysiological responses to stress (e.g., state anxiety, HRV) and performance (i.e., accuracy) during a pressurized shooting task. It was hypothesized that participants who received the slow diaphragmatic breathing intervention would display more adaptive psychophysiological stress

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Ali Al-Yaaribi, Maria Kavussanu, and Christopher Ring

groups; the magnitude of these effects was large. Prosocial statements, such as “keep going” and “great effort,” led participants in the prosocial group to feel happier during the basketball free-throw shooting task than those who were assigned to the antisocial or control groups. Clearly, the prosocial

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Colin A. Zestcott, Uri Lifshin, Peter Helm, and Jeff Greenberg

This research applied insights from terror management theory (TMT; Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986) to the world of sport. According to TMT, self-esteem buffers against the potential for death anxiety. Because sport allows people to attain self-esteem, reminders of death may improve performance in sport. In Study 1, a mortality salience induction led to improved performance in a “one-on-one” basketball game. In Study 2, a subtle death prime led to higher scores on a basketball shooting task, which was associated with increased task-related self-esteem. These results may promote our understanding of sport and provide a novel potential way to improve athletic performance.

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Robert Weinberg, Curt Fowler, Allen Jackson, Jamie Bagnall, and Lawrence Bruya

The purpose of this investigation was to determine if setting unrealistic goals would produce any significant decreases in motivation and performance. To add external validity to the findings, two experiments were conducted; one used an endurance task with children, and the other used a basketball-shooting task with college students. Subjects were matched on baseline assessments and randomly assigned to one of several goal-setting conditions—from goals that were easy to those that were unrealistic and virtually impossible. A do-your-best control condition was employed in each experiment. Results from both experiments revealed no significant between-group differences for either the sit-up task or the 3-minute shooting task. Questionnaire results indicated that subjects accepted their goals and tried hard to reach them. Although subjects placed in unrealistic-goal conditions did perceive their goal as being more difficult, this did not produce any decrements in their motivation. Results are discussed in terms of previous research in sport and industrial settings concerning the goal-attainability notion.

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Mike Stoker, Ian Maynard, Joanne Butt, Kate Hays, and Paul Hughes

In previous research, multiple demands and consequences were manipulated simultaneously to examine methods for pressure training. Building on literature, in this study a single demand or consequence stressor was manipulated in isolation. Specifically, in a matched within-subject design, 6 international shooters (mean age 28.67 yr) performed a shooting task while exposed to a single demand (task, performer, environmental) or consequence (reward, forfeit, judgment) stressor. Perceived pressure, anxiety (intensity and direction), and performance were measured. Compared with baseline, manipulating demands did not affect pressure or anxiety. In contrast, pressure and cognitive anxiety significantly increased when judgment or forfeit consequence stressors were introduced. Thus, the findings lack support for manipulating demands but strongly support introducing consequences when pressure training. Compared with baseline, the judgment stressor also created debilitative anxiety. Hence, in terms of introducing a single stressor, judgment appeared most impactful and may be most effective for certain athlete populations.