Confirming a successful anxiety manipulation, basketball players reported more perceived anxiety with higher levels of induced anxiety (P < .001, η2 = 0.37). Our data show that higher levels of induced anxiety provoke an acute IOP rise (P < .001, η2 = 0.44), with the low-, medium-, and high-anxiety–induced conditions promoting an average IOP rise of 0.21, 1.63, and 18.46%, respectively. Also, there was a linear IOP rise over time in the high-anxiety–induced condition (r = 0.82). Nevertheless, we found no effect of anxiety-induced manipulation on basketball free throw performance (P = .93).
Intraocular pressure is sensitive to anxiety-induced manipulation during basketball free throw shooting, showing an increase in parallel with accumulated anxiety. Based on these findings, IOP may be considered a promising tool for the assessment of the level of anxiety in certain sport situations. Future studies are required to explore the generalizability of these results in other scenarios with different physical and mental demands.