Pre Performance routines by goal kickers in rugby
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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This study aimed to examine how and to what extent do pre performance routines impact upon performance. Within this study we measured routine times, routine consistency, psychological state of mind, performance outcomes and how each variable was affected by task difficulty. The study consisted of six male semi-professional rugby union goal kickers who all had in excess of ten years experience at kicking at goal. In total 96 kicks at goal were recorded via video analysis, from this analysis both concentration and physical preparation times, the success rate of each kick, along with the consistency of each routine were all recorded. Prior to each kick at goal a set of psychological questions were asked and these scores were recorded on a 1-10 likert scale. The results found that task difficulty had a significant effect upon concentration and physical preparation times, as well as the participant’s success rates at goal. Task difficult was also found to have a significant impact upon participant’s mental state before each attempt, analysis revealed that when task difficulty increased confidence gradually decreased among participant’s whereas the likes of stress, anxiety and concentration levels all increased. There was no significant difference found however between routine consistency and performance outcomes due to the ever changing difficulty of the skill. The study implies that future research needs to gain the participant’s views on each attempt and get their opinions on what they believed either went wrong or right with the use of some follow up questions. Also this study concludes that the original view in which performance will be enhanced by seeking consistency within routines is now somewhat questionable.
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