Fischler College of Education: Faculty Articles

Title

Choking in front of the goal: The effects of self-conscious training

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Publication Title

International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

ISSN

1612-197X

Volume

5

Issue/No.

3

Peer Reviewed

1

Abstract

Why do highly trained athletes often fail to perform up to their potential under stressful conditions? Baumeister (1984) suggested that individuals who undergo self‐consciousness training would not suffer performance decrements as often as those who do not undergo self‐consciousness training. Consequently, the purpose of the present study was to ascertain whether players who undergo self‐consciousness training adapt to pressure situations better than players who do not undergo training. Choking in front of a soccer goal was examined in two skill levels (low‐skill and high‐skill players), two task complexities (soccer penalty kicks and breakaways), two pressure situations (low‐ and high‐pressure), and three experimental conditions (single task, dual task, self‐consciousness). Choking occurred in the simple task of penalty kicks, but not the complex task of breakaways. Furthermore, the single‐task (control group) and the dual‐task treatments experienced performance decrements under high‐pressure conditions, while participants who underwent self‐consciousness training improved performance under high‐pressure situations. These findings are consistent with the explicit monitoring hypothesis of choking under pressure and the current research in sport and exercise psychology (Baumeister, 1984; Beilock & Carr, 2001; Beilock, Carr, MacMahon, & Starkes, 2002). The findings offer a method of preventing or minimizing the vulnerability of chocking under pressure.

DOI

10.1080

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