Towards repeatable good performance in cricket
An initial field based study was undertaken to measure and compare the intensity and directional sub-components of the state anxiety response in reflection to performance in cricket, in accordance with Hanin's (1980) Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning hypothesis. Following the results of the initial study, an alternative line of inquiry was followed. Subsequent investigations focused on the concept of 'repeatable good performance' as opposed to heightened performance states. More specifically, a triangulation of research studies, employing an inductive content analysis, a cultural consensus analysis and the repertory grid technique, attempted to understand what constitutes such a performance state in cricket. Additionally, the three studies attempted to establish what factors precede or are present during consistent good performance, and whether the antecedents for repeatable good performance are similar for varying roles within cricket. The triangulation generated a group of core element antecedents including: total self-confidence; optimal arousal levels; motivation and focus; and total match preparation, including, pre-match routines, set performance plans and use of imagery that are required by both batters and bowlers for the occurrence of repeatable good performance. An applied research study indicated that when the psychological requirements for repeatable good performance were included within an intervention, the potential for achieving repeatable good performance, and performance improvements, were increased. The study suggests repeatable good performance to be a viable construct within applied sport psychology. Despite such claims, further research is required to develop a scientifically valid definition of the construct, in addition to the further development of methods that allow for the identification and measurement of consistent performance.