Counter-Intentional Errors of Basketball Free Throw Shooting Under Elevated Pressure: An Educational Approach of Task Instruction

  •  Recep Gorgulu    


The aim of this experimental study was to test Wegner’s (1994) theory of ironic processes in a basketball free throw task under pressure. More specifically, Wegner (1994) predicts that when instructed not to perform in a certain manner performers’ performance will break down where it is least desired way which is the main hypothesis of the current study. More specifically, it was hypothesized that when basketball players were instructed “not to throw the ball’’ into the certain zone on the backboard would decrease their performance in ironic fashion especially under manipulated high-anxiety condition. The sample of the present study comprised 37 male (Mage=22.30, SD=2.89) experienced university basketball players. Participants’ anxiety was measured using MRF-3 (Krane, 1994). In a basketball free-throw task; the numbers of targets, non-target non-ironic balls and ironic error balls were counted and overall performance was also calculated in order to measure participants’ performance. Based on the scoring system, participants gained +5 points for throwing into the target, scored -5 points making an ironic error and 0 points for throwing the ball to anywhere (except the target and non-target ironic error zone) on the backboard. Results revealed that when instructed not to throw in a certain zone, performers’ overall performance changed in ironic fashion across anxiety conditions. Findings suggest that understanding the mechanism of ironic processes of mental control theory may be a useful theoretical framework for examining the relationship between anxiety and performance in sport, physical education and motor control studies.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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