Psychological factors of performance in ski jumping : a quantitative study of World Cup ski jumpers
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Purpose – The present study investigated the relationship between psychological factors (self-efficacy, flow, positive- and negative affect, worry) and ski jumping performance, as well as the influential functions these psychological factors have on ski jumping performance. Method – World Cup ski jumpers (N = 40) responded to four questionnaires in the middle of the World Cup season, reporting their subjective experience during a competitive setting. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) (Bandura, 1997) and Flow Theory (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990) was used as main conceptual frameworks. Findings – Self-efficacy was significantly related to ski jumping performance, both overall World Cup results and ski flying results (mean r = -.365), and explained approximately 14 % of the variance in the overall World Cup. Flow was significantly related to ski jumping performance, both overall World Cup results (Flow-Focus) (r = -.34), and ski flying results (Flow-Arousal) (r = -.36). The Flow-Arousal explained approximately 13 % of the variance in ski flying results. Negative affect was significantly related to ski flying performance (r = .34). No significant relations were found between worry and ski jumping performance. Conclusion – These results show that psychological factors may be of essential importance for World Cup ski jumping performance, and that appropriate coping strategies, constructive mindset and motivation, proves to be essential in this regard. Originality/value – To my knowledge, this is the first study on psychological factors of ski jumping performance among World Cup athletes. The study adds important information about some of the psychological mechanisms involved during ski jumping performance.