SUNDAY Nov. 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) – NBA great Michael Jordan had a special ritual he would follow before each free throw: he adopted a shoulder-width stance, spun the basketball in his hands, bounced the ball three times, then spun the ball once more while focusing on the rim before finally shooting.
Now, new research suggests that similar routines may improve your athletic performance, whether you are an amateur or an elite athlete.
In fact, many top professional athletes have a pre-performance routine (PPR), which can include specific movements or thoughts.
âRoutines like Jordan’s can boost focus and help get into optimal mental state for performance,â said Peter GrÃ¶pel, lead author of the study, a sports psychologist at the University of Vienna in Austria.
GrÃ¶pel and his colleagues analyzed data from 800 athletes in 15 sports and found that performance improved dramatically after athletes learned and used PPR, and those with PPR outperformed those without.
These results were observed both in laboratory evaluations and in actual athletic competitions, in pressure and non-pressure situations, and were independent of age, gender, skill level, type of routine, and body type. time needed to learn the athlete’s routine.
âWhat we have seen is that using a PPR improves performance, no matter how simple or complex the routine is,â GrÃ¶pel said in an academic press release.
âIt is beneficial in any sporting task that allows a few seconds of preparation time, such as serving in tennis or puttingt in golf,â he said. “We have observed positive effects on a variety of athletic tasks, age groups, skill levels and for both sexes.”
The findings could encourage athletes, coaches and sports psychologists to learn and use PPRs in practice, according to the study’s authors.
SOURCE: University of Vienna, press release, November 11, 2021
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