Information & Resources
San Diego Figure Skating Communications
Effects of Momentum changes
in sports events
How is Momentum Defined and
What are the Implications?
Players, coaches and spectators often see the players and teams winning or losing a string of points during a match. A team that is playing well and seeming gained dominance can suddenly experience a reversal of fortune. Such shifts may occur multiple time during the game.
For coaches, athletes and applied sport psychologists, there are obvious reasons why they want to learn how to control the game's momentum. What actually changes occurred when the psychological momentum shifts? What is the cause that initiates these changes? What can be done to swing the momentum in our favor?
there is a change in what athletes think and feel, which consequently
affects the way they behave. The psychological momentum involves
of control, confidence, optimism, motivation, focus, and energy.
sport psychologists are aware of the negative spiral that often
develops. It normally starts when a mental mistake occurs. The athlete
who committed the mistake usually starts to analyze the mistake and
thinking about its affect on team
performance. Such an athlete is highly motivated not to make another
mistake, which causes he or she to start trying harder. This invariably
leads to even more mistakes.
Can an opponent affect the
swing of momentum in
Athletes who are on the defense will often attempt to force a high risk shot, in order to break the status quo. The defensive player may cause a forced error if opposing players are slightly out of position, stretching for a ball or caught off guard by a particularly precise shot.
Committing a number of forced errors can cause players to begin to doubt themselves and get frustrated with themselves. Soon after becoming frustrated, they start to make additional unforced errors and the negative performance spiral occurs.Very subtle changes are normally initiated. However, even multiple small changes eventually add up, and then are reflected in player frustration. During this process, athletes begin to lose their sense of control, confidence, motivation, optimism, focus, and energy. This momentum can become self perpetuating and be enough to determine the result of the competition.
The Reality of Momentum in Sports | LiveScience Oct. 6, 2008 ... Does psychological momentum really come into play?
Momentum in Sport Momentum is always conserved in a closed system, but most sporting situations in the real world are not a closed system.
Sports psychology: the role of momentum in sports performance The concept of psychological momentum in sport and ways to trigger, maintain and reverse it.
Momentum Momentum is a commonly used term in sports. A team that has the momentum is on the move and is going to take some effort to stop.
The Hot Hand in Basketball: Fallacy or Adaptive Thinking? PDF format (80k)
Perceptions of Positive Momentum While Attending NCAA Men's and Women's
Basketball Regular Season Contests: Exploring the
Winning streaks in sports
and the misperception of momentum
Momentum in Sport As momentum is the product of mass and the velocity, you can increase momentum by increase either of these elements.
Athletic Insight - A Review of Psychological Momentum in ... The concept of momentum in sport contests is commonly referred to by athletes, coaches, and commentators alike,
Sports psychology: the role of momentum in sports performance ... In sport, psychological momentum has been defined as 'a bi-directional concept, affecting either the probability of winning or the probability of losing
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.