Emotional and cognitive processes during trapshooting performance

Luis Calmeiro, Gershon Tenenbaum

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The purpose of this study is to describe the emotion-cognition link during actual trapshooting competitions, utilizing an ideographic and longitudinal approach. Three main questions are addressed: (a) How do athletes’ affective states fluctuate during performance? (b) how do athletes appraise and cope with different performance states? (c) how do cognitive-emotional processes differ in elite and non-elite athletes? Two elite and four nonelite trapshooters were followed throughout two competitions. To measure emotional states, athletes answered the Affect Grid after each shot (200-300 shots). Retrospective recalls were conducted immediately after each set (8-12 sets) to ascertain thought sequences during critical and non-critical performance periods. Probabilities of pairs of thought-sequences occurring were calculated. More skilled athletes showed a more stable pattern of affective states. Athletes perceived more threat when experiencing critical performance periods, during which they utilized more emotional-focused coping associated with negative emotions. Withdrawal was utilized under
conditions of decreased likelihood of personal goal attainment, and was associated with negative emotions. Problem-focused coping was utilized more often during non-critical than during critical periods, and was associated with feelings of control and confidence. Compared with non-elite athletes, elite athletes were more likely to deal with threat appraisals by using a variety of emotion-focused coping and problem-focused coping. Elite athletes also had more sequences of problem-focused coping followed by emotion-focused coping than non-elite athletes. This study is among the first to utilize verbal reports to determine probabilities of though-sequences during an actual competition.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event12th European Congress of Sport Psychology - Halkidiki, Greece
Duration: 4 Sep 20079 Sep 2007


Conference12th European Congress of Sport Psychology
Abbreviated titleFEPSAC
Internet address

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