During the preparatory period of motor skill, attention is considered as one of the most vital factors for athletic performance. Electroencephalographic (EEG) indices, such as occipital α, have been employed to explore the psychological state during the preparatory period in elite athletes. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in frontal midline theta (Fm θ) power during the aiming period between successful and unsuccessful basketball free throws. Fifteen skilled male basketball players were recruited and asked to perform free throws. Electroencephalogram (EEG) data were collected 2seconds prior to the initiation of the free throw and segmented into four 0.5-s epochs. The lower theta (θ1, 4-6Hz) and upper theta (θ2, 6-8Hz) power values was contrasted between the successful and unsuccessful throws. Two 2×4×6 (performance×time×electrode) ANOVAs with repeated measures were conducted separately for θ1 and θ2 power. The results indicate that θ1 power at the Fz site and θ2 power at the Fz and the F4 sites fluctuated significantly during the preparatory period for an unsuccessful throw when compared with a successful throw. Additionally, a higher Fm θ2 power was observed at the beginning of the aiming period of a successful throw. This study suggests that a stable arousal and a relatively constant amount of attention to the task prior to motor execution may facilitate athletic performance.
International Journal of Psychophysiology, 90(3), p.321-328