Bertram V. Burke


The purpose of this study was to develop a psychologically based training technique that would help maximize athletic performance. The technique entitled the Six Step Technique was then experimentally tested to determine its effect on lowering state anxiety and improving foul shooting under experimental conditions.

Specifically three schools were randomly selected from a suburban athletic conference and their Varsity and Junior Varsity male basketball teams comprised the samples of the study. The three schools were then randomly assigned to an experimental treatment group, a placebo treatment group and a control treatment group. Prior to the start of treatment(s) the. groups were administered the State Trait Anxiety Inventory, and a twenty-five foul shooting test was employed as a baseline measure. At the completion of the respective treatment(s) the STAI and non-game foul shooting test was readministered.

The results of the study showed (1) that state anxiety was significantly lowered for the experimental treatment group (P< .05 level of confidence) after exposure to the Six Step Technique. In addition, neither the placebo nor control groups demonstrated a significant lowering of state anxiety upon completion of their respective treatments, and (2) that non-game foul shooting was significantly improved for the experimental treatment group (P

From the results of the study the following conclusions were made:

1. That the Six Step Technique can help an athlete to become aware of and control his state anxiety regarding athletic performance.

2. That as a result of the ability to control state anxiety the athlete can sharply focus his attention and therefore become more automatic and successful in athletic performance.

* Winer (1959) indicated that the .10 level of confidence is acceptable when applying the Scheffe' Method of Multiple comparisons.