Qualitative Research on the Mechanism of Choking under Pressure

Takayuki Murayama, Yoshifumi Tanaka, Hiroshi Sekiya
2009 Taiikugaku kenkyu (Japan Journal of Physical Education Health and Sport Sciences)  
The objective of this study was to propose an inductive model for the process of choking under pressure by qualitatively investigating factors related to choking and their relationships. Thirteen athletes Mϭ7, Fϭ6 on the varsity in soft tennis, football, basketball, badminton, and archery teams participated in a semi-structured interview in which questions concerning the conditions, symptoms, causes, coping strategies, and social support for choking were asked for approximately one hour. The
more » ... bal protocols from the interview were analyzed by a Grounded-Theory Approach GTA . The results of the GTA produced a model consisting of the following 13 categories: 1 stressor, 2 pre-competition condition, 3 individual characteristics, 4 irrational belief, 5 negative affect, 6 safe strategy, 7 verbal and behavioral changes, 8 activation of physiological arousal level, 9 physical fatigue, 10 changes in perception and motor control, 11 performance decrements, 12 coping strategy, and 13 vicious circle. This model emphasizes the categories of safe strategy, changes in perception and motor control, and physical fatigue, which are directly related to decrements in performance. In addition, the model points out the importance of the vicious circle of choking. Hypotheses proposed to explain the choking phenomenon in previous studies, such as those involving conscious control and processing resource shortages, focused on attentional changes. It is, however, necessary to consider other factors as well, such as the strategy, perceptual and movement characteristics, physical fatigue, and circulatory process in order to understand the mechanism of choking.
doi:10.5432/jjpehss.a540202 fatcat:2g3q3nctmrarnpdiiasiux7uxq