Stress Exposure Training as a Means for Athletes to Prevent Paradoxical Performance

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Fulton, Adam M
Paradoxical performance; sport psychology; choking; stress; stress exposure training; pressure; Psychology
project description
Paradoxical performance has been studied for years, with an emphasis on helping athletes prevent choking under pressure. However, although progress has been made, too many athletes are still underperforming due to anticipated and unanticipated stressors (Baumeister & Showers, 1986, p. 362). Stress exposure training is suggested as a solution to choking under pressure, even though little research has been done. A review of the literature on paradoxical performance is presented, emphasizing skills that appear to be effective and could be inserted into a stress exposure training program. Skills such as self-consciousness training, positive self-talk, self-confidence, pre-performance routines, and others could be improved as part of stress exposure training (Driskell, Sclafani, & Driskell, 2014). Although stress exposure training has been done in the military, law enforcement, firefighting, aviation, and even in baseball, recommendations are made for further research in other sports.