Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Olufemi A. Oluyedun, Kinesiology; Dr. Maureen Dunn, Kinesiology

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Extant literature suggests that body positioning prior to a high stakes event can influence performance (Cuddy et. al, 2012). Participants who performed a high-power pose (an open and expansive position of dominance) before a mock job interview were rated significantly higher on perceived confidence by the interviewer when compared to the participants performing a low power pose (a closed and constricted body position). Participants who engaged in the higher power pose reported higher feelings of preparedness and self-confidence. As a result, these individuals tended to have stronger presentation and speech quality. High power posing has also been found to decrease state anxiety through a decrease in cortisol (stress hormone, Carney et. al, 2010). While high power poses have been suggested to increase self-confidence and decrease state anxiety during a high-stakes event, they have not yet been studied in relation to sport performance. The purpose of our study was two-fold: 1) to examine how different body poses (high, low, neutral) will affect self-reported levels of confidence and anxiety, and 2) to assess the relationship between the psychological variables (confidence and anxiety) to sport performance measured through a 400-meter time trial. Male and female collegiate soccer players each completed three 400-meter time trials following a power pose regimen of either high, low, or no power posing. Participants were then asked to complete an established questionnaire in the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory which measures self-confidence and state anxiety. Directly after completing the questionnaire, participants were asked to complete a 400-meter time trial from a standing start. We hypothesized that participants who engaged in high power pose positions prior to the time trial would run faster 400-meter time trials compared to low and no power posing conditions. In addition, we hypothesized that higher reported scores of confidence and lower reported scores of anxiety would be associated with faster 400 meter times. Our work is important as it may provide a strong evidence for potential benefits of the mind-body connection specific to sport. This study is ongoing and results are pending.

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Kinesiology Commons