Choking is defined as a critical deterioration in the execution of habitual processes as a result of an elevation in anxiety levels under perceived pressure, leading to substandard performance. In the current study, music was used in a dual-task paradigm to facilitate performance under pressure. Three choking-susceptible experienced female basketball players were purposively sampled from 41 screened players. Participants completed 240 basketball free throws in a single-case A1-B1-A2-B2 design (A phases = low-pressure and B phases = high-pressure), with the music intervention occurring during the B2 phase. Following completion of the phases, an interview was conducted to examine perceptions of choking and cognitions associated with the effects of the music lyrics. Participants improved performance in the B2 phase, and explained that choking resulted from an increase in public self-awareness (S-A). The music intervention decreased S-A, and enabled participants to minimize explicit monitoring of execution and reduce general distractibility.
This paper explores how front-line street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) cope with the expectations of citizens, clients, or ‘customers’ in daily work and how SLBs may be impacted by emotional labour. The study analyses data from 41 interviews with SLBs in local councils in Victoria, Australia. Although exploratory, it builds awareness and understanding of the emotional labour associated with public service. The situations that SLBs engage with on a daily basis are many and varied and take the form of increased expectations and intense encounters. Respondents experienced abuse, threats, violence, but also ‘sparkle moments’. Resources that helped SLBs cope are diverse and located both within and outside organisations. Implications are discussed and issues that merit additional investigation are raised concerning how SLBs can be supported to better meet the demands of the public. The research is of value to public managers and SLBs operating in a changing society with increased ‘customer’ expectations.