The Impact of Hemispheric Activity Priming on Choking Under Pressure in Badminton Tasks: A Study of Three Fundamental Skills
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College of Physical Education, Hubei Normal University, Huangshi, China.
Department of Kinesiology & Applied Health, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada.
Department of Education, Health & Behavior Studies, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, USA.
Submission date: 2023-06-06
Acceptance date: 2023-09-14
Online publication date: 2023-10-27
Corresponding author
Hairui Liu   

Kinesiology & Applied Health, The University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue, 3D11 Duckworth Building, R3B 2E9, Winnipeg, Canada
Journal of Human Kinetics 2023;89:301–311
Choking under pressure occurs when an individual experiences a decrease in performance despite their efforts to perform well. The self-focus approach suggests that pressure increases conscious attention on the performance process, disrupting the automatic or overlearned nature of execution. Hemispheric asymmetries in the brain and skilled performance indicate that left-hemispheric activity decreases, while right-hemispheric activity enhances. Previous studies have attempted to prevent choking by inhibiting the left hemisphere or enhancing the right hemisphere's activity. This study examined whether increased hemispheric activity priming can extenuate motor skill failure under pressure in badminton tasks. The study involved 32 right-handed college students who completed five conditions in pressure-free blocks versus choking under-pressure blocks with priming intervention. Results showed a significant improvement in motor learning from pre- to post-tests, but participants still choked under pressure during skill execution. Furthermore, the priming strategy (hand squeezing) did not alleviate the pressure to benefit performance. The study provides evidence of performance decrements under pressure conditions, and the priming strategy did not alleviate choking.
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