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JOLIRVAI OF 4 P P L i t D SPORT PSYCHOLOGY 11, 194-209 (1999


Primary Process in Competitive Archery Performance:
Effects of Flotation REST

Karlstad Universih. S~veden


The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether or nor the floating
form of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) may be exploit-
ed within the field of competitive archery to reinforce primary process (inner-
directed) orientation and thereby enhance the quality of coaching and training.
Floatation REST consists of a procedure whereby an individual is immersed in a
water-tank filled with saltwater of an extremely high salt concentration. The ex-
periment was performed over the course of two weekends with a 6-week interval.
Twenty participating archers. 13 male and 7 female, were recruited. The between-
group factor was “adjudged skill.’’ The within-group factor was provided by an
Armchair condition in which the participants sat in an armchair for 45 min after
which they were required to shoot four salvo series of three shots each, as a
coinparison to the Flotation-Rest condition whereby the participants were required
to lie in a floating-tank for 45 min just prior to shooting. Results indicated that:
( a ) the participants experienced less perceived exertion during marksmanship in
thc floating condition. ( b ) the elite archers performed more consistently in the
Flotation-REST condition. ( c ) the least and most proficient archers had lower
muscle tension in the Extensor Digitorum in the Flotation REST condition.

A number of investigations strongly suggest that the ability to unre-
servedly concentrate mental effort is the key to successful performance
in sport (e.g., Abernethy, 1993; Cox, 1994; Gordon 1990; Landers, Hans,
Salazar, Petruzzello, Kubitz, & Gannon, 1994; Summers, Miller, & Ford,
1991 ). One generally-accepted way of defining concentration is to de-

Author note: This study was supported by grants from Karlstad University, Karlstad, from
Olympic Support Center. erebro, and from Swedish National Center for Research in Sports,
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Torsten Norlander, Department of Psychology,
Karlstad University. SE-65I 88 Karlstad, Sweden. Email: (

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Other observations indicate that thinking about the future. In a different situa- tion the same player may be required to concentrate upon a penalty whereby a well-rehearsed sequence of action is allowed to dominate (pri- . see Moran. 1996). Salazar. Boutcher.. It is reasonable to assume that different sports require a differential equilibrium between primary and secondary processes in order to ensure maximal performance. a central role has been assigned to problems concerning concentration. 1993). the primary process is a unconventional. rather than the pres- ent. Much effort has focussed upon the consequenc- es of externdinternal distractions. while secondary process is associated with studied. Land- ers. Crews. where both types of thought process are “fused” in differing proportions. According to Sum- mers and Ford (1995). an- alytic. 1996). 1990). 1967). As such. Singer (1974) has implied that fantasy provides a con- tinuous background to everything one endeavors. in a soccer match a player will most often “calculate” effects of a pass in the context of hisher and team- mates’ movements on the field (secondary process). Thus.g. & Han. 1984. or putative improvements to “concen- trative-effort” within sport (for a review. also caused performance deterioration (Moran. 1987. this may be described as a shift from the verbally- based left hemisphere to the spatially-dominant right hemisphere. instinctive thinking that tends to operate on concrete images rather than abstract concepts. Landers. FLOTATION REST AND ARCHERY 195 scribe it as the ability to focus one’s attention on the task at hand and thereby not be disturbed or affected by irrelevant external and internal stimuli (Schmid & Peper. logical. Archery provides an example of an individual sport that may be studied within the context influenced by a “here-and-now” experience in concentration. Landers. 1996). Kubitz. and (b) oscillation. and Wang (1986) found that archers who dwelt on earlier failures performed worse than those more focussed on the present. For instance. In tra- ditional psychological terms the effect may be described as a cognitive shift from a more secondary process-oriented thinking to a more primary process orientation (Neisser. but that this is noticed first after attention upon the outer sources of stimulation begins to rescind. Petruzzello. and reality-oriented thought. “quick shifts. The secondary process-primary pro- cess continuum is here taken in a descriptive manner (Martindale & Dail- ey. these individual sports are most demanding whereas the fast and unpredictable team sports ensure the players’ atten- tion is drawn to events as they occur (Moran. Hilgard (1968) postulates that primary and secondary thought may be considered two alternative states of awareness and concurrent processes and differentiates between (a) fusion. & Ray. 1996).” where each part remains distinct and intact. abstract. A critical period for the athlete during ongoing performance occurs when negative preoccupations (pertaining to perceived failure) must be rejected for new opportunities. Hatfield & Landers. Hatfield. Electroencephalogram techniques may offer a neurophysiological cor- relate for the “here-and-now’’ experience wherein archers and shooters display cognitive shift from left to right hemisphere the instant after firing (e. Within sport psychology. In this regard.

1982. Suedfeld. Heilbronner. may prefer to engage in “psych down” or relaxation techniques (Moran. and ice-skating (Nideffer. Those athletes active in sports where a dominant and constant primary process-orientation is a requirement for optimal performance must devel- op techniques to ensure that the training facilities provide just these con- ditions. 1984a. 1990. Much evidence indicates that following REST an “af- tereffect. Heilbronner.. The floating form of REST consists of a procedure where- by an individual is immersed in a water-tank filled with saltwater of an extremely high salt concentration. 1996). Forgays & Belinson. At the same time. Later research. The floating tank is isolated from the inside in order to preserve the warmth and keep out both noise and light. and Archer.196 NORLANDER ET AL. Wagaman. mary process).” a prerequisite to the creative process (Forgays and Forgays.g. 1984). The complete technique centers upon reducing sensations to a minimum. higher levels of anxiety. 1998). This cover may be opened quite easily just through pushing it up. Lee & Hewitt. 1986). & Bluck. concentration problems. Norlander. A narrow focus of attention is a special necessity in closed skill and/or self-paced sports like archery. 1984). Berg- man. Noy (1969) suggests. Experiments conducted earlier with REST often reported negative ef- fects on participants (Zubeck. increased receptivity to information (Aquino. Metcalfe. 1984). heart rate reduction (Jacobs. 1987. diving. Suedfeld & Bruno. Corresponding positive effects have been reported for the floating form of REST (e.. Best & Suedfeld. & Stanley. 1982). might be an effective technique for inducing a primary process condition. reduced anxiety (Fine & Turner. comprises a cognitive balance with a mainly primary process-orientation (Hutchison. Relaxation techniques often lead to both less perceived exertion and less muscle tension (Borg. Barabasz. Several studies (e.” the latter a “narrow-internal” focus (Nideffer. Hutchison. and muscular ten- sion reduction (Stanley & Francis. & Stanley. that sensory deprivation. has shown also the occurrence of pos- itive effects. In order to achieve this. Suedfeld & Bruno. these effects may also be regarded as . like archers. and even halluci- nations. 1970). 1992). 1986. 1984). rifle shooting. pain reduction (Turner & Fine. 1990. 1982). the participant in question must lie down in the tank while a cover is closed down over the opening. such as improved relaxation (Jacobs. or with the more modern terminology Restricted Environmental Stimulation Tech- nique (REST). & Bara- basz. Barabasz.g. The former demonstrates a “broad-external. Performers in strength and power sports may favor “psych up” strategies while preparing for competition while pre- cision sport performers. 1993). however. 1984a. The floatation-isolation technique is a special form of REST. 1990). & Barabasz. Associated with the secondary-primary process continuum is that of arousal-control as a concentration technique. such as problems with logical think- ing.” lasting about an hour. McAleney. with the support of Goldberger’s (1961) experiments in sensory isolation. 1987. 1973). 1991) provide strong sup- port for the contention that the flotation-isolation procedure reinforces aspects of “imagery.

’’ 3 used the “classical bow. 1998). The experiment was carried out at the Olympic Support Center in Orebro. The participating archers may be described as (a) those that maintained a good junior standard at district and club level. (b) those archers aspiring to belong to the category “Ju- nior-elite’’ but had not quite reached that standard. These changes would possibly lead to (c) improvements in performance. Five of the participants used the so-called “compound-bow. Hutchison. Sweden.75 years (SD = 1. and to improve the restitu- tion following training bouts and competition (Bond. Mean age was 15. Lee & Hewitt. This condition provides the point of departure for the theoretical standpoints described above. Sweden. Flotation REST has been applied to a sport psychology context in order to attain a more effective control over the negative consequences of stress. four federal (national) coaches. 1990). in collab- oration with Karlstad University. These characteristics of relaxation are important for closed sports like archery (Moran. 1996).” Each of these three types of archery bow define sep- arate branches within the sport and would not normally compete with each other under standard competitive conditions.. 1988. As yet we are not aware of any systematic attempt to study the direct and immediate influ- ence of Flotation REST (i. which is associated with an increased psychological and muscular relaxation. The purpose of the present study was to investigate to what extent Flotation REST may be exploited within the field of competitive archery to reinforce primary process orientation in performers and thereby en- hance the quality of coaching and training.33. the following hypotheses were formulated: Flotation REST would lead to significantly less perceived exertion and less muscle tension. and (c) those that had achieved Swedish Junior-elite standard. 1987. During and directly after Flo- tation REST a condition consisting of a narrowed span of attention and relaxation was achieved.” and 12 the “free-style bow. FLOTATION REST AND ARCHERY 197 an expression of a primary process domination (Norlander. Two of the participants were left-handed. Only one of the par- ticipants had any previous experience of the flotation-REST technique but nine of them had experience of some type of mental training. Sensory isolation leads to a cognitive shift towards the primary process. variation of age range = 13-18). Twenty participants. were recruited through the auspices of the Swedish Archery Union (Svenska Biigskytteforbundet). univer- sally recognized for their expertise and experience within the field of archery were assigned the task of separately assessing and grading the . 1997. Suedfeld & Bruno. At the start of the experiment.e. without visualization and during aftereffects) upon precision sport performance. 13 male and 7 female. 1984b. Thus. Methods Participants The present experiment was performed over the course of two week- ends (Saturday and Sunday) with a 6-week interval. to reinforce various visualization techniques.

or maximum voluntary contraction (MVC).71) showed evidence of lunch habits that were distinguished by an irregularity and lack of nour- ishment value in comparison with the intermediary group (Mean Rank = 12. type of school education. Instruments Floating Tank.089). the interme- diate. degree of optimism (LOT). self- assessed performance level.065). height. the intermediary group of seven. and the elite. female participants’ phase of the menstrual cycle. group.260 nun X 950 mm was used. or amount of training (ps > 0. whereby the participants were required to lie in a floating-tank for 45 min just prior to shooting their four salvo series. Water depth varied between 200-300 mm. weight. due to evaporation.” the least skillful. gender. Stockholm) with measurements 2400 mm X 1. smokinglnon-smoking habit. However.00) and the elite group ( M Rank = 12. Kruskal-Wallis testing did not show any differences between groups with regard to type of bow used.198 NORLANDER ET AL. One-way ANOVA’s did not show any group-differences with regard to either age. marital status. and the elite group of six participants. type of up- bringing. archers with regard to their skill. The water temperature was maintained at 34. as measured by the EMG-apparatus (ps > 0. as a comparison to the Flotation-REST condition (Flotation condition). The order in which the Armchair condition and the Flotation condition were presented was varied so that half of the participants began with the Armchair condition whereas the other half began with the Flotation condition and then reversed con- ditions for the next experimental session. most skillful. The within-group factor was provided by an Armchair condition in which the participants sat in an armchair for 45 min after which they were required to shoot four salvo series of three shots each. and finally an elite. Design This study presented a mixed effect design. A floating tank (Pantarei Flytexperten. The least skilled group consisted of seven participants.044) where a multiple comparisons procedure indi- cated that the least skilled group ( M Rank = 7. The between-group factor was defined by the assignment of the participants into three experimental groups on the basis of “Adjudged Skill. as well as at second weekend occasion.00). The floating tank was insulated on the inside so as to main- tain a constant temperature and to isolate the participant from sound and sight.39. These assessments were later shown to indicate a high level of interjudge reliability (see “Interjudge Reliability” in Results section) and on this basis three groups could be identified and formulated as an independent variable: the least skillful archers. an inter- mediary group. health condition at the first weekend occasion. Between conditions was a 6- week interval interspersed.2”C. a significant effect of Type of lunch (KW = 2. personal commitment (PCS). volume of water 1 cubic meter. alcohol consumption. Ambient (air) . p = 0. type of breakfast consumed.

Borg. The rings were graded from 1 point for the outermost ring to 10 points for hitting the bull’s eye (the center point.70) (Borg. The Extensor Digitorum muscle was chosen because this muscle has antagonist action to the Flexor Digitorum muscle which controls the flexion responses of the fingers and wrist. RPE-Ratings of Perceived Exertion. This scale (Borg. Each archer was required to shoot 4 series of 3 arrows to each series. According to the RPE instructions. All the measured values of the participants were described as a percentage of each individual’s MVC. 1998).94).1-0.. Maximum time allowed was 120 sec per salvo series.. The target was a regular competitive archery target (1) i. as well as predictive validity (0.3 g/cm3. whereas the two left-handed archer received electrode placements on the left arm. In order to obtain calibration standards. thereby exerting a critical influence on the arching of the bow when the bowstring is drawn.. Similarly.. Borg. For right-handed archers. Sweden).5 sec) the bowstring was released on each of the 12 shots. Extensor Digitorum) is required to be as relaxed as pos- sible in order to achieve maximal archery performance. For the EMG- measurements. Intratest Reliability around 0.96) regarding self-versus observer-ratings. W E provides good values for different validity measures. These measurements were carried out using an EMG-apparatus Myo I (EMG-Konsult. FLOTATION REST AND ARCHERY 199 temperature was the same as the water temperature minimizing sense sensation. concurrent validity (0. 1970. For the present analysis two separate assessments for percent of MVC were employed (a) Mean Tension (MT) as expressed by the total mean muscle tension during the four salvo series. Each participant is instructed to use a scale from 6 to 20. neutral electrode on the skin above the bone. Ex- tensor Digitorum). The Target.90. 1985. Parallel Test Reliability is reported to lie be- tween 0. The distance to the target was fixed at 18 meters which represents the international indoor competitive standard range. how heavy and strenuous particular exercises are experienced by the ath- lete). Solna. 1995) that the antagonist of the Flexor Digitorum (i.e.e.70 and 0. each participant was instructed to tense Extensor Digitorum as much as possible.e. including content validity (0.50-0.90. the right arm was chosen. Maximum Voluntary Contraction (MVC) was applied.e. It was assumed (Jansson. EMG (Electromyogram Analysis). . two electrodes were connected to the skin of the lower arm on the muscle (medial central) as well as a third. The water was saturated with magnesium sulphate in order to maintain a salt concentration of 1. where 6 symbolized “no exertion at all” and 20 “maximal exertion. 0s radius. 1998) provides an assessment of perceived exertion (1 i. it was ten-ringed with a total diagonal of 40 cm. and (b) Prerelease Ten- sion (PT) as expressed by the mean value for muscle tension shortly before (0.” A high reliability of ratings of per- ceived exertion has been found in many investigations applying different procedures (Borg.77-0. perceived exertion depends mainly on the strain and fatigue in the athletes’ muscles. diameter cm).90. In order to measure contraction impulses from the chosen muscle (i. and Retest Reli- ability around 0. 1998).

from “bad” to “very good. p. Procedure The experiment was performed during two weekends (Friday evening to Sunday evening). 1985) consists of eight items. Parallel Test Reliability is reported to . At the start of the experiment. ranging from 0 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). LOT-Life Orientation Test. PCS-Personal Commitment Scale. A 10 on the scale indicates that it is the most important pastime in one’s life whereas a mark of 1 indicates the minimal priority of the sport. each participant was required to com- . On arrival at the first Friday evening. Thus.64). regarding validity. all the archers were received by the coaches and subsequently instructed by the exper- imenters on the experimental design and set-up. This scale is often used by coaches even though there are no analyses on reliability and validity data available. Orebro. A 1-10 graded scale (Orlick. however. 1990) that indicates how highly individuals estimate and evaluate their interests in sports was used.” were assessed on a five-graded scale (Janson. the archers were informed which of them had been assigned. pre. randomly.76 and Internal Con- sistency to . The direct experiential effects of the presentation. it is important that the scale be tested. The test (Scheier & Carver. Orlick (1990) does not present any reliability data but. was provided. they were told they were supposed to participate.or post-performance. The Five-scale. in theoretical or coach- ing exercises organized by national coaches. at the Olympic Support Center. 1990. It was indicated too that all task-associated data would be treated with strict confidentiality. The same was true for athletes in a variety of other sports” (Orlick. pertaining to the period when they were not actively engaged in the experiment. LOT is also regarded to have an adequate level of convergent and discriminant validity (Scheier & Carver. plus four filler items. defined in terms of generalized outcome expectancies. with a 6-week break. In an applied sport psychology study. The rest of that evening was assigned for shooting practices. 1985). the performance level de- creased proportionally. it is indicated that when a large group of marathon runners responded to the PCS it was found that those individuals with the highest commitment were shown to the most profi- cient. 1985) demonstrated by correlation statistics and by using LISREL VI (r = 0. 1995). The task of each participant is to decide whether or not one is in agreement with each of the items de- scribed.76 (Scheier & Carver. The test measures dispositional optimism. Sweden. “As the commitment score decreased.200 NORLANDER ET AL. At the same time. Orlick (1990) has demonstrated from studies with marathon runners that those who rated marathon running highest showed better performances competitively compared with those who rated their own marathon running as being less important. On the following Saturday morning further information. to either the Control (Armchair condition) or to the Floating conditions dur- ing each of the two occasions. 9).

and neck and finally try to also feel relaxation in your face muscles.” The participant was then informed of how to remove the cover and how to climb in and out of the tank. the mean tension (EMG-MT) during the four series. . ‘ONE’. Each participant was instructed to make a toilet visit. Try to breath through your nose exclusively when you exhale and keep the word ONE in conscious awareness. a short debriefing was organized whereby the participant communicated particular problems or viewpoints. then go slowly to your feet. Thereafter. 1975) was given: “We require you to lie down in the water. If he/ she was in the Armchair condition the participant was shown to a separate room and instructed to sit in an armchair and read the newspapers avail- able. Maintain this state of relaxation. A dif- ferent experimenter received the participant and mounted the EMG elec- trodes on the pulling-arm. chest. An assistant explained that after each shot the participant was to rate the experience on a five-point scale. . OUT. For example breath IN . Those included in the Flotation condition were shown to the house with the tank. change to bathing clothes and shower. So as not to be disturbed by the water and to further eliminate sounds. OUT. The participant was then instructed to dry carefully around the face in order to avoid drops of water disturbing relaxation. Then the participant proceeded to the Archer y-hall. Shut your eyes and let yor muscles simply relax. Experience the comfort of the situation. six weeks later. the five scale after the four series. Following the respective armchair-sitting and floating an experimenter instructed that full competition status was in force. ‘ONE’. Results Data Reduction In order to simplify the statistical analysis it was investigated as to whether or not one may obtain data reductions regarding marksmanship in the four shooting series. the participant entered the tank and 45 minutes later the tank visit was interrupted and the participant was al- lowed to shower and put on training overalls. stomach. the pre-release tension (EMG- PT) during the four series. shoulders. The time limit was 120 sec per series. If you maintain this procedure a few times then flotation will maintain your condition. requiring complete concentration. thighs. Finally. with the exception that the background questionnaire and LOT were replaced by the Personal Commitment scale. The same procedure (except with reversed order of conditions) was maintained during the next weekend occasion. You do not have to do anything yourself. IN . . When the participant had completed all four series he/she made an estimate of perceived exertion on the RPE scale. Then the participant was allowed to loose-off four series of three shots each. . arms. Allow the relaxation to start at you toes. wax plugs were inserted into the participants’ ears. In order to introduce the participant to an immediate relaxed state in the tank following instruction (adapted from Benson. Regression analysis (enter-method) were used . FLOTATION REST AND ARCHERY 20 1 plete a questionnaire on background information as well as LOT. legs.

96.562).3 19).70) or high ( R > 0. the W E scale ( p = 0. To examine whether or not the order sequence between conditions affected outcome participants who received floating on the first occasion were compared with those receiving floating on the second.16) . EMG-MT in the Armchair condition ( R = 0.001).66. Marksmanship in the Flotation condition ( R = 0. Regression analysis (enter-method) showed a significant multiple correlation between the four coaches ( R = 0. the W E scale result. Three types of bow were used in the experiment. p < O. EMG-FT in the Armchair condition ( R = 0. respectively.001). p < 0. EMG-MT in the Flotation condition ( R = 0. the RPE scale result.202 NORLANDER ET AL for calculating Multiple R ( R ) which showed significant correlations be- tween the four shooting series for R with regard to Marksmanship in the Armchair condition ( R = 0.330). the Five-scale in the Flotation condition ( R = 0. sum- mate the results for the EMG-MT measures from the four shooting series in both Armchair and Flotation conditions.95.018).90.96.43. respectively. p = 0. The scores from the Five-scales in the Armchair condition did not correlate significantly and it was also adjudged unnec- essary to convert the scores in the Flotation condition to one variable as a comparison was no longer possible. p = 0. Znterjudge Reliabilities. p < 0. The analyses indicated that the order of conditions had no influence on either marksmanship ( p = 0. No significant group differences (Kruskal-Wallis) occurred with regard to type of bow ( p = 0.94.208). However.OOl). the EMG results expressed as Mean Tension (MT) and Pre-release Tension (PT). There was however no significant correlation with regard to the Five-scales in the Armchair con- dition ( R = 0. p < 0. Since the regression analysis indicated acceptable ( R > 0.121).001).001).001).449).90) and split-plot ANOVAs with Armchair and Flo- tation condition marksmanship. Type of Bow.224). p = 0.343) or EMG-PT ( p = 0. Split-plot ANOVAs were used with the Armchair and Flotation conditions marksmanship. EMG-PT in the Flotation condition ( R = 0. Reliabilities Order Sequence of the Conditions. Nor were there any interactions between factors and within factors ( p s > 0.003).90) R values it was considered meaningful to summate the results for the Marksmanship from the four shooting series in both the Armchair and the Flotation conditions. type of bow did influence EMG-PT [F(2. p < 0. p < 0. the RPE scale ( p = 0. MT and PT. Thus it was deemed necessary to average the coaches’ scoring for skill as well as apply the coaches’ own group divisions. respectively. and summate the results from the EMG-PT measures from the four shooting series in both Armchair and Flotation conditions. results of the EMG. EMG-MT ( p = 0.75. as the Within-Subject Factors and sequential order of conditions as the Between-Subject Factor. or EMG- MT ( p = 0.90.723). as Within-Subject Factors and type of bow as Between-Subject Factor showed that type of bow had no influence for either marksmanship ( p = 0.

82 9.86 2.31 18. Standard deviation may provide a measure of performance constancy.28 23. SD = 7. FLOTATION REST AND ARCHERY 203 Table 1 Relationships between conditions (armchair and flotation) and skill level for different dependent variables Least skillful Intermediate Most skillful A-condition F-condition A-condition F-condition A-condition F-condition Markship Mean 108.86 9. indi- cating that there was a significant difference in marksmanship between the least skilled group (Armchair condition: M = 91.65).28.45 17.50 9.36) and the freestyle bow (M = 26. No interaction effects occurred with respect to between- factors and within-factors ( p s > 0.57 99.13).83 6. Further testing (one-way ANOVA's and the LSD- test) indicated in the Armchair condition a significant difference between the compound (M = 11.29. no group-differences existed (p = 0. ( a ) Marksmanship.07 20.71.48 13.84 1.22 6. SD = 13.53 3.48 15.71 105. and between the least skilled and the elite (Armchair condition: M = 105.45 RPE Mean 12.15 6. SD = 23.04 1.84 18.29 77.28.56).93 9.12 15. SD = 7. Dependent Variables In order to analyze the dependent variables split-plot ANCOVA's were used (controlling for the difference between groups in regard to lunch habits) and will be described below. Flotation condition: M = 77.65 13. SD = 5. SD = 9.46 0.71. Flotation condition: M = 99.57.03 13.0021.08 1. but in the Flotation condition there was a significant difference in deviance .86 12. but there were group differences [F(2.00 13.20 6.67 SD 11. so a comparison (one-way ANOVA's) of these was derived: in the Armchair condition. p = 0. SD = 13.988).92. SD = 9. Flotation condition: M = 108.86) and the intermediary group (Armchair condition: M = 105.17) = 9.83 EMG-PT Mean 25.50 SD 1.45).67.30 1. There was no interaction effect between Marksmanship and Group and no difference between conditions (ps > O. For means and standard deviations se Table 1.44 SD 11.680).23 = 5.05 EMG-MT 17.03.21 25. SD = 11.14 9. As post hoc analysis LSD-testing was applied to examine group differences (5% level).86 10.37.86 105.0201.70 Mean SD 3.28 7. p = 0. but not with regard to the classical bow (M = 19.57 12.50.41 17.44 2.86. A split-plot ANCOVA was used with scores from marksmanship as the Within-Subject Factor and Group as the Between- Subject Factor.l).15 18.

SD = 2.05) and the intermediary group ( M = 12. whereas for the Flotation condition there was a difference between the elite ( M = 9. SD = 2.67. SD = 1.25) were significantly higher than in the Flotation condition ( M = 10.85.075) between the Armchair condition ( M = 15. A split-plot ANCOVA was used with scores from the RPE scale as Within-Subject Factor and with Groups as the Between-Subject Factor. p = 0.17) = 6. as a Within-Subject Factor and Groups as Between-Subject Factor.204 NORLANDER ET AL. In the least skilled group there was a significant difference ( Z = -2.04).86.043) between conditions whereby EMG-MT.87). SD = 2.14.53) compared with that of the Flotation condition ( M = 13. There were no other significant differences within groups between Armchair and Flotation conditions regarding the RPE scale ( p s > 0. SD = 1.028) between con- ditions whereby the RPE scale in the Armchair condition gave a higher mean ( M = 12. and between the elite and the intermediary group ( M = and between conditions on the RPE scale [F(1.0461.0061. Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Test was used to examine the EMG-MT result under Armchair and Flotation conditions in each group.41) indicated significantly lower deviation than the least slulled ( M = 3.03. SD = 3.70. In the Armchair condition. in MT. In the least skilled group there was a significant difference ( Z = -2. in the Armchair condition.028) between conditions such that EMG-MT.00.86) than in the Flotation condition (M = 10. in the Arm- chair condition.17) = 11. SD = 0.48.127) and no group dif- ference ( p = 0.44). There was a significant interaction between EMG-MT and group [F(2. gave a higher mean ( M = 17. SD = 1.41.50. To examine the interaction effects. for marksmanship [F(2.20. Sub- sequent LSD-testing indicated. p = 0. For the intermediary group there were no significant differences ( p = 0.44) in between.17) = in the elite group there was a significant difference (2 = -2.57. SD = 2.12.84) and the least skilled ( M = 12.83).08).0011 but there were no significant differences between conditions ( p = 0. but did not differ from the intermediary group ( M = 3. SD = 1. a significant difference for the RPE scale between the elite ( M = 9.17) = 9.30) than in the Flotation condition ( M = 13. SD = 6.15). Further.17) = 3.86. p = 0. ( c ) Mean Tension (MT).23. the RPE scale results were analyzed under Armchair and Flotation con- ditions using the Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Test. SD = 1. with the least skilled ( M = 10. under the Armchair condition. p = 0. means ( M = 11. p = 0.22) and the Flotation condition ( M = 17. SD = 1.48.20. p = 0. LSD-testing indicated group differences: The elite ( M = 1. SD = 2. SD = 2. ( b ) RPE-Ratings of Perceived Exertion.626).02) which may suggest that less effort was perceived necessary in the Flotation condition. SD = 0. showed a higher mean ( M = 15. SD = 3.80. A split-plot ANCOVA was used with .390).06). p = 0. SD = 6. ( d ) Pre-release Tension (PT).28.04. SD = 1. as well as group differences [F(2. A split-plot ANCOVA was used with scores from EMG-measures.0101. p = 0. Significant interaction effects were obtained between the RPE scale and Groups [F(2.

no significant difference between either group or con- dition regarding pre-release tension (EMG-PT) was obtained. suggesting a practical value. This condition (i.g.g. cogni- tive-shift from the verbal-based left hemisphere to the spatially-dominated right hemisphere.. FLOTATION REST AND ARCHERY 205 scores from the EMG-measures expressed with PT as Within-Subject Fac- tor and group as Between-Subject Factor. rifle marksmanship.e. Marksmanship was not improved in the Flotation REST condition. and relaxation) that have been found to exert particular influence in “closed skills” andor self- paced sports like archery.. Discussion Statistical analyses indicated that the participants experienced a lesser perceived exertion effort during marksmanship in the Floating condition than in the Armchair condition. Correlation Statistics Correlation coefficients (Pearson’s r ) were computed between variables (see Table 2). narrowed span of attention.197) and no difference between con- ditions ( p = 0. 1997.. The most proficient archers (the elite) distinguished themselves from the other two groups in the Armchair and Floating conditions through their significantly lower points on the RPE scale (i. immediacy-focus.g. 1998).772). With regard to average muscle tension (EMG-MT) in the Extensor Digitorum during marksmanship. No EMG-PT X Group inter- action effect was indicated ( p = 0. However. The results indicated that the connection between mark- manship (Mark) and the consistency of performance (Con) increased dur- ing Flotation condition (F) at the same time as the connection between ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and adjudged ski1 (Skil) diminished.e. 1998) con- tains several components used to describe all exercises from exaggerat- edly high overall physical exertion (e. a deeper con- centration) includes certain mechanisms (e. a between-conditions difference was ob- tained for the least and most proficient archers (the least skilled group and the elite group.. On the other hand. archery). One explanation may be that an improved marksmanship performance requires a period of training under conditions of relaxation induced by Flotation. The concept of perceived exertion (Borg. Bergman. Several studies appear to confirm the conclusion that Flotation REST induces a more conspicuous primary process condition (Norlander.. diving. For archery. Norlander. it should be noted that the elite archers performed more consistently in the Flotation condition compared with the least skilled group. distance running) to the exer- cising of small muscle groups or to exercises with short duration (e. local strain sensations in the arm muscles involved disturb concentration so that a lower perceived exertion is an advantage (Janson. as measured by the RPE scale. respectively) whereby floating led to lower muscle tension. & Archer. 1995).661). nor any Group difference (p = 0. and ice-skating . the elite group experienced lower perceived exertion).

46* .22 I ..oo MT F .70* 1 . p < 0.oo Skill .ox -.27 ..35 .20 -.4x* P.46* -.Ol -.29 .60* -.09 .ox -.I4 .oo 8 w RPE A .77** .25 .I7 .26 .62* 1.05 .27 -.42 .21 1 .62* .o1 1 .oo 3 MT A -.oo Mark F .oo PTF -. Significant correlations are indicated as follows: p < 0..65* .4x* .77** .07 .02 .2x -.I8 .29 -.4 1 1 .oo .ox .24 -33 .09 I .4x* .4x* -.03 -.I2 ..22 1 .Ol .I 1 -.oo Con F ..05 (*).42 .06 39 .001 (**) Z Mark A MarkF Con A Con F RPEA RPE F MTA MTF PTA PTF Skill 0 Mark A 1 . Table 2 Correlations between different variables in armchair (A) and flotation (F) conditions.oo Ei Con A -.65* -.oo RPE F .00 PTA -.69** 1 .23 .26 .40 .25 I .

g. Singer. Murphey. under the influence of the “afteref- fect.. M. The technical opportu- nities for advancing quality of coaching and training ought to be rein- forced through the combination of Flotation REST with visualization in the water-tank (Lee & Hewitt. Bond.). Benson. (1975). W.. 408-419. Even though the present study did have some methodo- logical limitations (the sample size was rather small and the Flotation condition included. (1982). The results indicated that even the most proficient archers were presented an opportunity to improve the consistency of their marksmanship. 2-4. 127-170). A. there appears much importance placed upon the degree of relaxation encountered in the antagonist to the Flexor Digitorum (i. J. In R. Attention. C. applause) is expected to reinforce potential benefits. (1988). progressive relaxation which was not present in the Armchair condition). Further experimentation is necessary to define the basic methodology in different sports. 1987. K. Restricted environmental stimulation therapy and behav- ioral self-managernent in smoking cessation. Best. & L. Flotation therapy: Current concepts.” assisted by external distractions (e. noise. Handbook of research in sport psychology (pp. H. 16. . 1990). 1996). C. 12. Relationships between stimulus depravation theory and creative corn- munications. Longitudinal studies with athletes training after Flotation-REST compared with athletes training without REST might here be of great interest. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. Well-rehearsed coaching with high tech- nical and conceptual quality reinforces the probability of enhanced con- centration and successful performance in the instant of competition (Rai- lo. REFERENCES Abemethy. FLOTATION REST AND ARCHERY 207 (Moran. it indicates that clear divi- dends may be obtained through the exploitation of the “aftereffects” in- duced in the floating condition. B. 1992). Further. & Suedfeld. J. New York: Morrow. for a couple of minutes. Tennant (Eds. N. l? (1982). (1993). Journal of Creative Behavior. 4.e. The relaxation response. Flotation REST may be applied as an instrument to improve coaching and to hone technique. the Extensor Digitorum) during the performance of archery marksmanship such that further relaxation of this muscle optimizes performance. 1990). Excel. New York: Macrnillan.. Within compet- itive archery. the present data describes a treatment recipe for coaching and training that capitalizes on primary process reinforcement through concentration of effort in a highly individual sports discipline. In summary. In order to reinforce the quality of training in individual technically-based disciplines the technical advances offered by a floating procedure may possibly be applied to develop particular assemblies of responses (for example taking a penalty in soccer) in oth- erwise exclusively team sports. Flo- tation REST provided positive effects in this respect. Aquino. simulation training (Orlick. Suedfeld & Bruno. 123-131. as data discussed above suggest.

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