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Jon Hammermeister and Damon Burton

This investigation had three primary purposes: (a) investigating whether anxiety has a major debilitating effect on the performance of endurance athletes, (b) assessing whether age or sport-type differences were evident in the precompetitive state anxiety patterns of triathletes and two of their singlesport counterparts, and (c) testing the anxiety–performance hypothesis for endurance athletes using an intraindividual measure of performance. Subjects were 293 endurance athletes recruited from races in the Pacific Northwest. Results revealed that precompetitive anxiety did not impair the performance of endurance athletes. Triathletes were significantly more cognitively and somatically anxious than either runners or cyclists, and older endurance athletes were found to experience significantly less cognitive anxiety than did their younger counterparts. Results did not support the anxiety–performance hypothesis, although a significant negative correlation was found between negative thoughts during the race and performance.

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Jon Hammermeister and Damon Burton

This exploratory investigation examined the value of using Lazarus’ (1991; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) stress model, (i.e., primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, and perceived coping) to identify the antecedents of cognitive and somatic state anxiety for endurance athletes. This study also assessed whether endurance athletes with qualitatively similar levels of cognitive and somatic anxiety demonstrate differential antecedent profiles. Participants were 175 triathletes, 70 distance runners, and 70 cyclists who completed stress-related questionnaires 1-2 days prior to competition and the CSAI-2 approximately one hour before competing. Results revealed that all three components of Lazarus’ stress model predicted both cognitive and somatic state anxiety better than did individual model components. Moreover, perceived threat accounted for a greater percentage of variance in cognitive and somatic anxiety than did perceived control or coping resources. Cluster analyses revealed distinct antecedent profiles for high, moderate, low, and “repressed” anxious endurance athletes, suggesting that multiple antecedent profiles may exist for highly anxious athletes in endurance sports.