Norlander, T., & Bergman, H. (1999). Primary process in competitive archery performance: Effects of flotation REST. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 11, 194-209.

Flotation REST is a procedure whereby an individual floats in a tank filled with water of an extremely high salt concentration. Archers (M = 13; F = 7) were subjected to two weekends of treatments, six weeks apart. Ss were assigned to either a control (armchair condition) or the REST condition. The armchair condition involved reading newspapers while seated comfortably. The REST experience involved relaxing according to instructions for 45 minutes in a flotation tank. Various psychological and performance measures were gathered. [It should be noted that to evaluate the flotation-alone experience, the control condition also should have included relaxation rather than distraction.]

The REST participants experienced less perceived exertion during marksmanship. Elite archers in the REST condition performed more consistently. Muscle tension was lowered in the REST condition. These results are not particularly impressive when compared to the virtual no-treatment control experience.

Implication. Flotation-REST could have marginal beneficial effects in elite standard archers.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.