This is just one issue discussed in the latest episode of the Experts in Sport podcast as host Martin Foster talks to Professor Karl Steptoe and Professor Denise Hill about the psychology behind the sport.
Karl is a psychologist with experience coaching in golf, studying a PHD around golf. He is now working as an applied practitioner, working with players on European and PGA Tours.
Denise has previously played golf at an international level, studying for a degree at Loughborough University with aspirations of becoming a physiotherapist. She now works across sports researching sports psychology, working with golfers.
Topics include managing efficient developmental pathways, being labelled by media as a ‘choke’ and the impact of these experiences on golfers throughout their careers. The issues with lab-based research are discussed alongside the effects of self-focus (monitoring own technique while swinging.)
The standardisation of monitoring ‘choking’ among research participants is questioned, along with some players being deemed as ‘susceptible’ to these blunders.
In discussion, Denise claims “choking doesn’t happen to everybody, all of the time. In terms of susceptibility, there does appear to be choking-susceptible profiles out there, but the work that’s gone into that has come up with nothing in terms of what the profile might look like.”
Professor Steptoe, Professor Hill, and Professor Jamie Barker have collaborated to publish a book titled: 'The Psychology of Golf Performance under Pressure'. More information can be found by visiting: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.4324/9781003299042/psychology-golf-performance-pressure-denise-hill-jamie-barker-karl-steptoe
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The Experts in Sport podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia with new episodes launched regularly.