Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Emotional Support Leads To Sporting Success

Date:
May 2, 2009
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
Sportsmen and women could get the edge on their opponents by accepting more emotional support in their personal and professional lives. A study shows the extent to which a sympathetic ear or regular words of encouragement can improve sports performance. Previous studies have linked 'social support' to performance in golf and other sports. Now for the first time, researchers have tested the importance of social support by providing individually-tailored support to sportsmen and then measuring its impact on performance.

Sportsmen and women could get the edge on their opponents by accepting more emotional support in their personal and professional lives.
Credit: iStockphoto/Justin Horrocks

Sportsmen and women could get the edge on their opponents by accepting more emotional support in their personal and professional lives. A study by the University of Exeter, published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, shows the extent to which a sympathetic ear or regular words of encouragement can improve sports performance.

Previous studies by the University of Exeter have linked 'social support' to performance in golf and other sports. Now for the first time, researchers have tested the importance of social support by providing individually-tailored support to sportsmen and then measuring its impact on performance.

The study focused on three male golfers, who all competed at regional, national and international level. For half of the study the golfers were each given regular one-on-one support by the lead researcher, Dr Paul Freeman of the University of Exeter. Dr Freeman offered a range of support including listening to the golfers as they talked through their problems, offering encouragement and reassurance before competitions, and helping with practical issues, such as organising accommodation during competitions. To provide comparative data, the researchers recorded the performance of the three golfers prior to receiving the support from Dr Freeman.

All three golfers performed better when they were receiving support from Dr Freeman. The players improved by an average of 1.78 shots per round, which could be significant at high-level golf.

Dr Paul Freeman of the University of Exeter, lead author on the study, said: "The benefits of social support on sports performance have been demonstrated in previous studies. In this study we have taken our understanding of the significance of social support a step further. By actually providing support to the golfers we were able to measure the actual improvement in performance. It is significant that the support I offered, as a relative stranger, had such a marked influence on their results. The findings suggest that amateur and professional athletes would benefit from seeking social support, whether this is from a friend or family member or even from a professional."

The researchers believe their findings would be relevant for other sports, as well as golf. Social support has also been shown to influence other areas of life, including performance at work. Previous research has also identified its role in addressing health issues such as weight loss and smoking cessation. Therefore, these findings could have wide-reaching relevance.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Emotional Support Leads To Sporting Success." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501110212.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2009, May 2). Emotional Support Leads To Sporting Success. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501110212.htm
University of Exeter. "Emotional Support Leads To Sporting Success." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501110212.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins