Sports and Explanatory Style
The bel ief that psychological factors play a profound role in athletic performance is not new. ''The mental part of the game" is commonly invoked with terms such as momentum, confidence, and homefield advantage to explain both the expected and surprising outcomes of athletic competition. There are few who would dispute the tremendous drive and determination required to mold raw talent into a suc cessful athlete. Yet despite the obvious importance and pervasiveness of this aspect of sports, there is much to learn about the nature of these mental compo nents and their effect on performance.