Sanchez, X., Boschker, M. S.,. & Llewellyn, D. J. (2010). Pre-performance psychological states and performance in an elite climbing competition. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20, 356363.

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This study assessed the relationship between pre-performance psychological states and expert performance in a non-traditional sport competition. Elite male sport climbers (N = 19) completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule before an international rock climbing competition. Climbing performances were video-recorded to calculate movement fluency (entropy) and obtain ascent times. Official route scores were also obtained.

Successful climbers reported higher pre-performance levels of somatic anxiety and climbed the most difficult part of the route more slowly than their unsuccessful counterparts.

Implication. The psychological states preceding elite climbing competition appeared to be an important factor in determining success, even when differences in baseline ability were taken into account.

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