Church, D. (2009). The Effect of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) on athletic performance: A randomized controlled blind trial. The Open Sports Sciences Journal, 2, 94-99.
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This study investigated whether the most widely practiced form of Energy Psychology, called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), could affect athletic performance. It evaluated whether a single brief EFT treatment for performance stress could produce an improvement in two skills for high-performance men’s and women’s college basketball teams at Oregon State University.
The treatment group received a brief EFT session while the control group received a “tips and techniques reading” (TTR). Performance was measured on free throws and vertical jump height.
Basketball players who received the EFT intervention scored an average of 21% better individually in free throws after treatment than the control group, while the control group scored an average of 17% lower (p < 0.028). However, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups in their percent change in jump height. When analyzed separately, there was a trend for females in the EFT condition to have better performance on both free throws and jump height than females in the control group.
These findings suggest that EFT performed as an intervention during the course of an athletic event may reduce performance stress, and improve individual player function for free throws, and is thus worthy of further study.