The effect of attentional instructions on table tennis player’s performance under pressure
Oral Presentation XML
Allameh Tabataba'i University
Introduction: The aim of present study was to evaluate the effect of pressure condition and attentional instructions on table tennis player’s performance.
Methodology: To this end, sixteen table tennis players were tested in 4 conditions with different attentional instructions and pressure conditions. The test included the table tennis task in which ball color signified the target to which the ball should be hit and player must to perform topspin drive against backspin balls that were thrown by the machine. Attentional instructions were different by using task-irrelevant and relevant cues. task-relevant and irrelevant attentional instructions were used for examination of conscious processing hypothesis. In Task-irrelevant cues, an alarm device randomly broad-casted 2 stimulus with high and low ton that players must answered by “up” for high voice and “down” for low voice. The purpose of this condition was that player’s attention was away from movement performance. In Task-relevant condition, the purpose was that players consciously think about movement performance and involvement the movements through step by step control. Pressure conditions were manipulated through a competitive ranking structure and prize money. Participants' accuracy in hitting targets and verbal reaction time to attentional instructions was taken as a measure of performance. Data were analyzed using two factorial repeated-measures ANOVA for each variable.
Results: The result showed that there was no significant difference between performance in all of conditions (P>0.5). There was only an significant increase in verbal reaction time under pressure condition (P<0.5). In total, the results indicated that attention to task-relevant cues under pressure has decrement effects on performance efficiency.
Discussion: Overall, the finding is in line with processing efficiency theory and is in contrast with common choking under pressure hypothesis.