Sports Psychology
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Anxiety

    Anxiety is the negative emotional state with feelings of nervousness, worry, and apprehension associated with activation or arousal of the body that can be triggered by various situations that confront ordinary people as they go about their daily lives and especially in high stress environments at home, school, work, or in when participating in sports activities at all levels.

"A negative reaction of a performer or athlete to stress, often leading to over arousal"

"An emotional state, similar to fear, associated with arousal and accompanied by feelings of nervousness and apprehension"

   Anxiety has two components:

Cognitive anxiety or State anxiety - The athletes emotional state at any given time - variable from situation to situation - State anxiety is temporary and in a constant state of changing subjective, consciously perceived feelings of apprehension and tension, associated with activation of the autonomic nervous system.

Somatic anxiety or Trait anxiety - An athletes disposition to interpreting a situation as threatening and responding with an increase in state anxiety Trait anxiety is a behavioral disposition to perceive objectively non dangerous circumstances as threatening, and respond accordingly. Trait anxiety is directly related to the personality of the individual.

Athletes who have a high level of Trait anxiety view more situations as threatening than those with lower levels Trait anxiety. The result is for them to respond with a higher state anxiety. This is known as competitive trait anxiety. A questionnaire called the Sports Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT) is a reliable predictor of an athletes levels of anxiety.

     Anxiety is experienced to some extent by anyone who takes tests and is involved in competitive situations. It's the thoughts and physical sensations that go with being agitated, nervous, or worried.

    When your anxiety levels are too high, you become distracted and unable to perform at your best. If your arousal level is too low you will lack energy and motivation. These tracks will help you manage your anxiety and arousal to stay relaxed, focused and achieve your best in school and sports or on the job.

    Want to learn more about your activation levels and ability to relax during competition? Take the TOPS test.

Titles
Coping with exams Coping with uncertainty
Hypnosis for Stress Reduction Managing Stress and Anxiety
Mastering Pressure Situations Overcome Pre-Game Nerves
Relaxation and Energy
Putting competitive anxiety in its place
Sleeping Better for Sport Serenity: A Suite of Four Guided Imagery Meditations

Recommended Reading:

Performance Anxiety - Overcoming Performance Anxiety   Overcoming Performance Anxiety with Sports Psychology. How to psyche yourself up, calm yourself down and overcome performance anxiety.

Stress and Anxiety | The Sport Digest Some athletes have to overcome the fear and anxiety associated with returning to sports. The major sources of stress that have been reported by sports performers include fear of failure, concerns about social evaluation by others (particularly the coach), lack of readiness to perform, and a loss of internal control over one’s environment.

Contrasting Concepts of Competitive State Anxiety in Sport:
Athletic Insight - Article. Focuses on Multidimensional Theory of Anxiety and the Catastrophe Model as an explanation for the connection between performance and arousal was an uncomplicated Inverted-U (Yerkes and Dodson, 1908), i.e. the best performance could be guaranteed with an average level of arousal (a.). if the level of arousal was too low (b.), or too high (c.), poor performance would result.

The Role of Anxiety in Sports Competition - Yahoo! Sports  Oct. 20, 2012 You know that anxious feeling you get the night before a big competition? Every athlete has felt that feeling to some degree. You may have even been told that some "nerves" before an event are ok. Do you understand the role of anxiety in sports competition? Does it help you or hurt you? How much anxiety is ok?

References:


Sports and Performance Anxiety - Managing Sports and ... Sept. 14, 2009 ... Sports and performance anxiety can be a difficult combination. Many athletes experience anxiety when faced with athletic competitions.

Sports and SAD - Strategies for Sports Anxiety  March 4, 2008 ... The symptoms of social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Anxiety in Sport and Self-Talk | Sports Training Blog Anxiety in sport - how to settle your nerves and reduce anxiety in the lead up to and during important sporting competitions.

Answers.com - How does anxiety affect sports performance Sports question: How does anxiety affect sports performance? Understanding how anxiety affects sports performance requires first an understanding of the causes.
 
Stress and Anxiety | The Sport Digest  Some athletes have to overcome the fear and anxiety associated with returning to sports. “The major sources of stress that have been reported by sports ...

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
  
  
     


Psychological Problems and Solutions
Confidence
Consistency
Flow/Peak Performance
Focus & Concentration
Goals and Objectives
Goal Setting
Hypnosis
Leadership
Personal Sabotage
Self Fulfilling Prophecy
Momentum
Motivation

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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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