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Behav. Sci., Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2019)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Performance in many sports relies on the optimal execution of a complex and difficult to master [...] Read more. Performance in many sports relies on the optimal execution of a complex and difficult to master motor action. Volleyball serves are a prototypical example of this: They set up the rally and may even lead to immediate point gains or losses. Here, we investigated whether conveying self-control strategies of setting goals (goal condition) and making if–then plans (plan condition) to experienced volleyball players helped them improve their volleyball serves. Our data showed no performance enhancements in terms of errors, velocity, or precision in either condition. On the contrary, precision and velocity were initially reduced and steadily recovered afterward. These findings are important because athletes and coaches are likely to use such self-control strategies, and doing so might be detrimental in competitions without sufficient recovery time. View this paper