Detection and Identification of Choking Under Pressure in College Tennis Based Upon Physiological Parameters, Performance Patterns, and Game Statistics

Academic Article


  • Choking under pressure, or underperformance in pressure situations, is a phenomenon feared by many athletes. Psychology research is heavily invested in studying the phenomenon; however, a universal structural approach to objectively analyze choking is yet to be established. The purpose of this work was to study relationships between choking in college tennis and selected physiological, performance, and game statistic variables in order to design a choking detection model. Choking was identified as a newly introduced variable called the choking moment. The introduced variables were measured with wearable sensors and observed from video recordings of college tennis matches. Swing speed and game statistic variables showed strong relationships to choking, and thus appear practical for the proposed choking detection model. Heartrate and footwork performance variables displayed weaker, but still some, patterns potentially related to choking, and thus could serve as supporting parameters for improvements of the choking detection mechanism. This study suggested unique techniques for identification and detection of choking in college tennis by introducing tennis specific variables, data collection framework, and data analysis procedures. The impact of this study is a contribution to the existing choking research by proposing an objective approach to analyze the subjective phenomenon of choking under pressure.
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  • Vancurik S; Callahan D