Mahoney, M. J., & Avener, M. (1977). Psychology of the elite: An exploratory study. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1, 135-141.

Finalists at the 1976 US Men's Olympic Gymnastic Team trials were assessed for their patterns and level of arousal. Qualifiers for the team and non-qualifiers were grouped.

Implication. Elite gymnasts considered the initiation of the final warm-up as the start of the contest. Gymnastics requires a high degree of precision skill and so arousal levels are controlled to facilitate good performances. Lesser athletes get over-aroused and use considerable negative thinking. Precompetition routines need to be practiced, controlled, task-specific, and positively oriented.

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