Preparing to Compete: A Season-Long Investigation with Collegiate Wrestlers

in The Sport Psychologist
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In order to extend Gould, Eklund, and Jackson’s (1992a) investigation with 1988 U.S. Olympic wrestlers, Eklund (1994) reported results from a season-long investigation of cognition during performance among collegiate wrestlers. This manuscript expands the account of that season-long investigation by reporting precompetitive cognition and affect—the psychological experience immediately prior to match performance—associated with performance. Qualitative data were collected from 6 NCAA Division I wrestlers via indepth retrospective interviews regarding all-time best and worst performances within 2’days of 38 season matches. Observable patterns in the organization and content of precompetitive psychological experience were identified in high, moderate, and low quality performances and observations made regarding associations with the competitive psychological experience.

Robert C. Eklund is with the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at the University of North Dakota, Box 8235, Grand Forks, ND 58202.

The Sport Psychologist
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