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The perceived self-regulation of Chinese world-class athletes were examined in this study. Qualitative data from 14 athletes were analyzed by a grounded theory method. The feelings of Chinese elite athletes who achieved either successful or unsuccessful self-regulation were noted. Results showed that successful self-regulation involved a calm mental state, smooth rhythm in performance, concentration, and flow, whereas rhythmic disorder, stress, mental fatigue, and loss of flow were cited by athletes during unsuccessful self-regulation. Our analysis indicated that a calm mind, rhythmic preparation, and lack of pressure were the major factors contributing to the maintenance of control. Preparation that was not well-planned and regular, the influence of stress, and mental fatigue did not support successful performance.