Leith, L. M. (1988). Choking in sports: are we our own worst enemies. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 19, 59-64.
It was found that talking about a "choke" significantly decreased performance in free-throw shooting in basketball. Therefore, talking about a choke may be largely responsible for its occurrence.
Implication. This study illustrates the impressionability of athletes and their possible reaction to placebos and beliefs. Coaches need to be aware of the effect of their statements when in close proximity to athletes. The nature of the coach's statements must be monitored. No negative or avoidance statements should be made. For example, negative harangues intended as a means for motivating usually frustrate athletes rather than help. The intended aggression response from such an intervention may only occur in a few individuals while the remainder are usually harmed.
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