A survey into the use of cognitive and behavioral priming techniques implemented by athletes to improve athletic performance

Collins, James, Bishop, Chris ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1505-1287, Hills, Frank ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8235-7545, Spiegelhalter, Abbie, Cohen, Rhonda ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8611-4559 and Turner, Anthony N. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5121-432X (2022) A survey into the use of cognitive and behavioral priming techniques implemented by athletes to improve athletic performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research . ISSN 1064-8011 [Article] (Accepted/In press)

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This study aimed to examine the frequency and modes of psychological priming techniques and strategies being implemented by athletes of a variety of performance levels. A 15-question, anonymous questionnaire was developed and shared via social media sites. The survey implemented a quantitative method approach to collect background information (e.g., demographics, competition, and training history), the prevalence of priming, and the methods used. Ninety subjects met the inclusion criteria (71 men, 18 women, 1 subject did not identify their sex), with a median age of 28  7.47 (24-33) years and training age of 11  7.57 (8-18) years. Self-selected participation level accounted for 11 professional, 17 semi-professional, and 54 amateur level athletes. Priming strategies were implemented by 79% of subjects without the use of a coach, 10% used strategies with their coach, and 11% did not prime. For athletes, music was the preferred choice (27%), followed by instructional self-talk (24%), motivational self-talk (23%), applied physical actions (20%), and watching videos clips (6.3%). Coaches preferred motivational statements with 55% implementing this technique, followed by 27% utilizing inspiring team talks, and only 18% playing music. Of those that implemented a priming strategy, 66% found them to be either “very” or “extremely effective”. With 38% of subjects feeling priming accomplished this through increased motivation, 22% felt it reduced their fear and anxiety, 21% thought it improved their intensity, 15% felt it increased strength and power, and 2% felt it improved endurance. The chi-square test also found a significant (c = 0.27; p = 0.011) relationship with the use of priming to increase motivation. These results demonstrate priming strategies are being used irrespective of coach intervention, therefore educating coaches and athletes on the implementation of priming techniques has its place when aiming to improve athlete performance.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Keywords (uncontrolled): Priming, techniques, strategy, psychological, improve, performance
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute > Strength and Conditioning at the London Sport Institute
Item ID: 36946
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Anthony Turner
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 12:15
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 16:41
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/36946

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