The ability of athletes to accurately recall precompetition anxiety was tested in members of a collegiate track and field program. In Experiment 1, 34 athletes completed the state portion of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) 1 hour before a competition and again 2 days later. Actual and recalled precompetition anxiety were significantly (p < .01) correlated for the men (r = .96) and women (r = .97) athletes. Accuracy in recalling anxiety was comparable for athletes with above (r = .96) and below (r = .97) average self-ratings of performance. For Experiment 2, the procedure was repeated with 11 other athletes. In this case the STAI items were rearranged on the second form. Again, recalled and actual precompetition anxiety were highly correlated (r = .96, p < .01). It is concluded that athletes can accurately recall precompetition anxiety 2 days following competition. With further validation this method may be used in place of actual precompetition anxiety measurements.
Gregory J. Harger and John S. Raglin are with the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, HPER Bldg., Bloomington, IN 47405.