The Effect of Psychological Momentum on Affordances in Tennis



While performing, athletes need to perceive and act upon affordances (i.e., possibilities for action in the environment, Fajen et al., 2008). Recent research has shown that psychological momentum (PM) affects how athletes judge their affordances (Den Hartigh et al., 2018). In a golf putting experiment, participants judged their maximum ‘puttable distance’ further from the hole in a positive PM and closer in a negative PM. The aim of the current study is to replicate this finding for judged affordances in another sports context, and to further investigate whether PM also impacts actualized affordances. In a baseline session, 36 Dutch regionally competing tennis players (Mage = 26.42, 19 females) were asked to either judge the returnability of tennis balls that were sharply placed in the corners by a ball machine (judged affordances), or to actually return them (actualized affordances). Next, participants played a match in which they had to return balls from the ball machine crosscourt, as accurately as possible. Here, feedback on their performance was manipulated to induce a positive or negative PM experience. Finally, (judged) returnability was measured again by launching the same balls as in their baseline measure. Our results showed an interaction effect of PM (Positive PM versus negative PM) and Time (before versus after the PM manipulation). Specifically, more balls were (judged as) returnable after the positive PM manipulation, whereas less balls were (judged as) returnable after the negative PM manipulation. These results invite to further investigate the link between PM and affordances in different sports.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 12-jul.-2022
EvenementFEPSAC 2022: Sport, exercise and performance psychology: challenges and opportunities in a changing world - University of Padua, Padua, Italy
Duur: 11-jul.-202215-jul.-2022


ConferenceFEPSAC 2022
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