Physiological arousal and performance in elite archers: A field study

Assessed the performance and heart rate of 10 17-40 yr old top-level female archers. This study was designed to (1) analyze the impact of physiological arousal on performance, (2) investigate whether heart rate deceleration during shooting is affected by arousal modification, and (3) verify whether heart rate deceleration appears under conditions of occluded vision and mental rehearsal or while simulating execution. Treatments comprised optimal, delayed, blind, simulated, high-arousal, and low-arousal shooting conditions. Shooting scores, variable error, and total error, and heart rate were assessed. Results reveal that best and worst outcomes were associated with optimal and delayed conditions, respectively. Decreased performance was also found for high arousal. Analysis of heart rate yielded significant results: Heart rate deceleration during shooting, from draw to release, was associated with optimal, blind, and simulated conditions. Implications for practice in archery are derived from findings. It is concluded that performance outcomes and heart rate pattern can be assessed during training to determine optimal arousal and action timing. Heart rate deceleration can be used as a physiological marker of modifications induced by mental rehearsal and skill simulation.
© Copyright 1998 European Psychologist. Hogrefe. All rights reserved.

Subjects: archery sport psychology psychology performance high performance sport elite sport mental training physiology heart rate excitement
Notations: training science social sciences biological and medical sciences technical sports
DOI: 10.1027/1016-9040.3.4.263
Published in: European Psychologist
Published: 1998
Volume: 3
Issue: 4
Pages: 263-270
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced