Training with anxiety has a positive effect on expert perceptual-motor performance under pressure

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    In two experiments, we examined whether training with anxiety can prevent choking in experts performing perceptual-motor tasks. In Experiment 1, 17 expert basketball players practised free throws over a 5-week period with or without induced anxiety. Only after training with anxiety did performance no longer deteriorate during the anxiety posttest. In Experiment 2, 17 expert dart players practised dart throwing from a position high or low on a climbing wall, thus with or without anxiety. Again, only after training with anxiety was performance maintained during the anxiety posttest, despite higher levels of anxiety, heart rate, and perceived effort. It is concluded that practising under anxiety can prevent choking in expert perceptual-motor performance, as one acclimatizes to the specific processes accompanying anxiety. © 2009 The Experimental Psychology Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1631-1647
    Number of pages17
    JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Volume62
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009

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