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Howard K. Hall, Alistair W. Kerr, and Julie Matthews

This investigation employed Smith’s (1996) model of performance-related anxiety to examine links between perfectionism, achievement goals, and the temporal patterning of multidimensional state anxiety in 119 high school runners. Instruments assessed achievement goals (Roberts & Balague, 1989), perfectionism (Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990), and multidimensional state anxiety (Martens, Burton, & Vealey, 1990) on 4 occasions prior to a cross-country meet. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that overall perfectionism was a consistent, significant predictor of cognitive anxiety. Perceived ability was a consistent predictor of confidence, and ego and task goals contributed to the prediction of cognitive anxiety and confidence, respectively. Concern over mistakes, doubts about action, and personal standards were consistent predictors of cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and confidence, respectively. The findings help further develop Smith’s (1996) model and suggest that the appraisal process underlying multidimensional state anxiety is influenced by individual differences in a number of achievement-related constructs.

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Howard K. Hall and Alistair W. Kerr

The present investigation tested the conceptual links between goal orientations and achievement anxiety which have been suggested by Roberts (1986) and Dweck and Leggett (1988). One hundred and eleven junior fencers between the ages of 10 and 18 completed a series of questionnaires measuring achievement goals (TEOSQ), perceived ability and multidimensional state anxiety (CSAI-2) on four occasions prior to a regional fencing tournament. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that perceived ability was a consistent predictor of all three dimensions of the CSAI-2 at each different time period. In addition, an ego orientation was found to contribute significantly to the prediction of cognitive anxiety on two occasions prior to competition. When goals assessed immediately before performing were entered as predictors of CSAI-2 dimensions, a task orientation was found to contribute to the prediction of both somatic anxiety and confidence. The findings also suggest that an awareness of an athlete’s achievement goals and perceived ability will allow coaches a more parsimonious understanding of the motivational antecedents of precompetitive anxiety than previous approaches which have considered other motivational constructs to be crucial antecedents of precompetitive affect (e.g., Swain & Jones, 1992).

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James J. Annesi

Effects of a precompetitive anxiety regulation system, based upon tenets of the individual zones of optimal functioning (IZOF) model, multidimensional anxiety theory, and the specific-effects hypothesis, were tested. In Phase I, case studies (3 elite adolescent tennis players) were used to analyze the IZOF model within a multidimensional state anxiety framework. In Phase II, the effectiveness of a precompetitive anxiety regulation system, based upon IZOF and the specific-effects hypothesis, was tested for enhancing match performance. Essential elements of IZOF theory were supported. In Phase II, inzone/out-of-zone A-state assessment was used to guide athletes’ treatment selections. After training athletes in prematch psychological skills designed to regulate specific cognitive state anxiety, somatic state anxiety, and state selfconfidence dimensions, posttreatment performances yielded higher values (ps < .05) than pretreatment. The need to replicate findings through different sample types, sports, and expertise levels was emphasized. Concerns with intrusion into athletes’ precompetitive routines were discussed.

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Marc R. Blais and Robert J. Vallerand

This study assessed the multimodal effects of electromyographic biofeedback on highly trait-anxious subjects, boys who scored in the upper quartile of the Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT). Subjects participated in a bogus sport competitive tournament and participated individually in six laboratory sessions that consisted of a practice session and five matches. Each session comprised an adaptation period and three games separated by three rest periods. Biofeedback or placebo condition was administered during the rest periods. Frontalis EMG, heart rate, and respiratory rate were measured at the end of a rest period and immediately before every game (i.e., stress periods). State anxiety (STAIC; Spielberger, Gorsuch, & Lushene, 1970) was measured before every game, and game performance was also recorded. Results from a MANOVA combining the three physiological variables revealed significant variations between rest and stress periods but no significant group differences. Results from univariate repeated measures ANCOVAs on all dependent variables revealed that the biofeedback group was superior to the placebo group in reducing frontalis EMG both during rest periods and in the general competitive setting. Results support the specificity of single-system biofeedback training and are discussed in light of the discriminative/motor skills model and the trophotropic rebiasing model.

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Claire-Marie Roberts

from the other practitioners within the interdisciplinary team. The assessment of this combined data led to an understanding that the athlete’s high levels of perfectionism (dispositional variable) and precompetitive anxiety (environmental trigger) were causing emotional and psychological stress, which

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Gregory J. Harger and John S. Raglin

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.

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Svenja A. Wolf, Mark A. Eys, Pamela Sadler, and Jens Kleinert

Athletes’ precompetitive appraisal is important because it determines emotions, which may impact performance. When part of a team, athletes perform their appraisal within a social context, and in this study we examined whether perceived team cohesion, as a characteristic of this context, related to appraisal. We asked 386 male and female intercollegiate team-sport athletes to respond to measures of cohesion and precompetitive appraisal before an in-season game. For males and females, across all teams, (a) an appraisal of increased competition importance was predicted by perceptions of higher task cohesion (individual level), better previous team performance, and a weaker opponent (team level) and (b) an appraisal of more positive prospects for coping with competitive demands was predicted by higher individual attractions to the group (individual level). Consequently, athletes who perceive their team as more cohesive likely appraise the pending competition as a challenge, which would benefit both emotions and performance.

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Stephen D. Mellalieu, Sheldon Hanton, and Graham Jones

The purpose of this study was to extend the work of Jones and Hanton (2001) by examining differences in affective states of performers who reported facilitating or debilitating interpretations of symptoms associated with precompetitive anxiety. Competitive athletes (N = 229) completed state and trait versions of the CSAI-2 (Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990), including intensity and direction subscales (Jones & Swain, 1992) and an exploratory measure of precompetitive affective responses in preparation and competition. “Facilitators” reported significantly greater positive labeling of affective experiences than “debilitators,” while cognitive interpretations of symptoms were reported to change with regard to preparation for and actual performance. The findings further support the need to examine the labeling and measurement of precompetitive affective states.

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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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František Man, Iva Stuchlíková, and Pavel Kindlmann

Spielberger’s trait-state anxiety theory suggests that persons high in trait anxiety have a greater tendency to perceive an ego-involving situation as threatening, and hence, they are expected to respond to this situation with elevated state anxiety (A-state). To test this hypothesis measurements of A-trait (low vs. high) as a between-subjects factor, measurements of stress level (low vs. high) as a within-subjects factor, and measurements of state anxiety, cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, self-confidence, and cognitive interference as dependent variables were made on 45 top-level soccer players. Statistical analysis revealed a significant person-situation interaction only in self-confidence. The lack of sensitivity in the state anxiety scores can be ascribed to the fact that soccer players play important games regularly and so become desensitized to precompetitive anxiety responses. A subsequent multiple regression analysis showed that task irrelevant cognitions are correlated only with cognitive anxiety and not with either self-confidence or somatic anxiety.