An investigation of choking in sport and the moderating influence of physiological stress

Denise M Hill, Christopher R Potter and Candice Quilliam

University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, United Kingdom

Citation

M Hill, D., R Potter, C., Quilliam, C. (2013). An investigation of choking in sport and the moderating influence of physiological stress. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 44(4), 310-330. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2013.44.310

Abstract

The aim of the study was to explore choking in sport and examine specifically, the moderating influence of physiological stress. Through a pragmatic mixed-methods approach, 40 novice golfers completed a low intensity (LI; 90% gas exchange threshold) and high intensity (HI; 100% V˙O2 max) exercise task, followed by a golf putting task under high (HP) and low pressure (LP). Performance scores were investigated using a two-way (2 x 2) Pressure by Intensity repeated measures ANOVA, and the difference between LP and HP performance scores of each participant (after LI and HI) was calculated to identify individuals who choked. Five participants experienced choking and completed individual semi-structured interviews which explored the event and the perceived moderating role of physiological stress. The study found the influence of physiological stress on choking in sport was insignificant, yet has provided further insights into its antecedents, mechanisms, consequences and other potential moderators.

Keywords: Anxiety, Attention, Fatigue, Paradoxical performance


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