Time-out! How Psychological Momentum Builds up and Breaks down in Table Tennis

Ruud J. R. den Hartigh, Christophe Gernigon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
234 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The current study examined the development of psychological momentum (PM) in table tennis and the effect of a time-out. Eighty table tennis players were exposed to an audiovisual scenario, in which they either came back from 1-7 to 7-7 in an all-decisive game (positive momentum), or in which the opponent came back from 7-1 to 7-7 (negative momentum). Furthermore, at the score of 7-7 a time-out was called. One group of participants received no specific instructions during the time-out, whereas the other group received task (mastery-approach – MAp) instructions. Overall, PM perceptions increased for participants in the positive momentum condition, but decreased rapidly for participants in the negative momentum condition. In addition, the time-out led to a loss of PM in the positive momentum condition, but to a recovery of PM in the negative momentum condition. The instructions during the time-out did not make a significant difference. Together, these results suggest that scoring patterns in a table tennis game significantly affect the PM of players. Furthermore, a player or coach could benefit from calling a time-out in a negative momentum situation, as this provides an opportunity to psychologically recover.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2732-2737
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume36
Issue number23
Early online date22-May-2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2-Dec-2018

Keywords

  • achievement goals
  • psychological dynamics
  • racquet sports
  • sport psychology
  • streaks
  • BEHAVIORAL MOMENTUM
  • SPORT PERFORMANCE
  • DYNAMICS
  • METAANALYSIS
  • COMPETITION
  • BASKETBALL
  • GOALS

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