The effect of ego depletion on sprint start reaction time

Englert, Christoph; Bertrams, Alex (2014). The effect of ego depletion on sprint start reaction time. Journal of sport & exercise psychology, 36(5), pp. 506-515. Human Kinetics Publishers 10.1123/jsep.2014-0029

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In the current study, we consider that optimal sprint start performance requires the self-control of responses. Therefore, start performance should depend on athletes' self-control strength. We assumed that momentary depletion of self-control strength (ego depletion) would either speed up or slow down the initiation of a sprint start, where an initiation that was sped up would carry the increased risk of a false start. Applying a mixed between- (depletion vs. nondepletion) and within- (before vs. after manipulation of depletion) subjects design, we tested the start reaction times of 37 sport students. We found that participants' start reaction times decelerated after finishing a depleting task, whereas it remained constant in the nondepletion condition. These results indicate that sprint start performance can be impaired by unrelated preceding actions that lower momentary self-control strength. We discuss practical implications in terms of optimizing sprint starts and related overall sprint performance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Educational Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education

UniBE Contributor:

Englert, Christoph, Bertrams, Alexander Gregor


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Human Kinetics Publishers




Noemi Martina Casola

Date Deposited:

13 Mar 2015 10:03

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:42

Publisher DOI:





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