External distractions and motor performance A field study exploring the effects of mental toughness and extraversion on golf putting

Henrik Herrebrøden *, Audun Grotterød ** and Sigurd W. Hystad *

(*) Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
(**) Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

Adding a distracting element to a motor task generally leads to a decline in performance. Distractions such as background noise are a natural presence for many professions, and especially so for professional athletes. Despite this, there is a paucity of research exploring the effect of distractions in an applied sport context. In this field experiment, we explored if auditory and visual distractions influenced the performance of experienced junior golfers (N = 50, Mage = 16.57, SD = 2.18) partaking in a putting competition. We also explored whether the personality variables extraversion and mental toughness influenced the association between distractions and performance. The results showed that golfers performed equally well when putting under distracting conditions as they did under normal conditions. The results further showed that neither the players

Keywords: Distractions, Extraversion, Mental toughness, Motor performance