Schneider, M. R., Landers, D. M., Phillips, W. T., Arent, S. M., & Yarrow, J. F. (2003). Effects of psyching on peak force production in adolescent athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 777.

The effects of psyching-up, counting backwards, and reading comprehension on peak force production in resistance-trained adolescents (M = 11; F = 9) were studied. Short bouts of each mental preparation were performed immediately before upper and lower body exercises on non-sequential days. Peak force (maximum amount of concentric effort produced during any part of the exercise range) was measured.

The psyching-up condition was significantly better than the other two conditions for both exercises. The two distraction conditions were similar to each other. [There is the possibility that the two task-irrelevant distraction techniques actually suppressed performance. These results should be interpreted very carefully.]

Implication. Psyching-up is an integral part of performing peak force activities.

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