EFFECTS OF ATTENTIONAL STRATEGIES, TASK EXPERTISE AND ANXIETY ON COORDINATION OF A DISCRETE MULTI-ARTICULAR ACTION

  • Matthew Robins
  • Keith Davids
  • Roger Bartlett
  • Jonathan S. Wheat
Keywords: anxiety, attention, constraint, coordination, expertise, movement variability

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether anxiety effects on performance of a discrete multi-articular action could be alleviated by attentional strategies and task expertise. 10 expert and 9 novice male basketball players performed 30 freethrows under both control and anxiety conditions. The dependent variables of interest included shooting performance, reaction time, joint amplitude of the wrist, elbow and shoulder, and coordination variability of the shooting arm using the normalised root mean squared difference technique. A significant main effect for condition was observed for reaction time, indicating the implementation of attentional strategies in both groups. In relation to this observation, no significant main effects for condition were found for shooting performance or any of the kinematic variables. Under conditions of elevated emotions, the allocation of additional attention to the primary shooting task seemed to attenuate the effects of anxiety, regardless of expertise. The findings are harmonious with existing data on attention and anxiety effects on coordination of rhythmical actions. They specifically demonstrated how participants, differing in expertise, used attentional strategies to stabilise performance of a discrete multi-articular action against emotional fluctuations.
Published
2007-12-12