Sports Psychology
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Arousal, Anxiety, and Stress
Factors Influence Performance

Definition of stress
- A stimulus resulting in arousal or a response to a specific situation.

     Many people confuse the terms of arousal, stress, and anxiety. For the purpose of Sport Psychology they need to be looked at as three different and distinct entities. Arousal can be defined as a general physiological and psychological activation of the person that varies on a continuum from deep sleep to intense excitement.  Refer to Stress and AnxietyAnxiety  and Managing Stress and Anxiety.

Stressors - This is the situation that causes the stressful response. For example, competition; frustration; injury; conflict

Stress response - This is the way in which we cope with stress. Seyle developed a model called the General Adaptation Syndrome to explain this:

Alarm Reaction - Fight or flight causing an adrenaline rush, rise in heart rate and increase in blood sugar level, ready for activity

Resistance - The body adapts to manage the stressful situation until it is overcome or passes

Exhaustion - The body can only cope with this state for a certain period (may be very short-term, or may be months or years, dependent on situation). If the stressful situation is not rectified the body begins to fail to cope

Stress Experience involves the physiological symptoms the athlete will also experience psychological symptoms. These include:

  • Indecisiveness
  • Decreased concentration
  • Worry
  • Decreased attention span
     This can then cause a vicious circle resulting in increased levels of stress, which is called the stress spiral.

Recommended Reading:

Problems and Solutions

The Sports Environment


Stress and anxiety Stress and anxiety definitions and meaurements. ... 'An emotional state, similar to fear, associated with arousal and ... Examples are Martens Sports Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT) and Speilbergers State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

Arousal, Stress and Anxiety - Factors That Influence Performance Arousal, Stress & Anxiety. Arousal is general physical and psychological activity. ... Related Links. Sports Psychology · Strategies & Success.

Stress Management  Understanding arousal and perception of stress. Many people confuse the terms of arousal, stress, and anxiety.

PDF Chapter 4: Arousal, Stress, and Anxiety The Nature of Arousal, Stress, and Anxiety. Stress and the Stress Process ... father of applied sport psychology father of American sport psychology.

PDF Stress and anxiety in sport  Comments of participants in sport themselves. Arousal and performance. The longest-standing approach to the relationship between stress, anxiety and ...

Managing arousal and anxiety - Sports Psychology, Mental ...  Hypnosis for Managing Arousal and Anxiety in Sport Anxiety is experienced by every sports person. ...Stress Reduction · Managing Stress and Anxiety

Cognitive-Behavioral Perspectives of the Relationship Instead, terms such as stress, anxiety, arousal and activation have been used interchangeably. ..... Stress in sport: Experiences of some elite performers.

Looking for Anxiety Stress And Arousal On Sport Performance ... Whether heading in to a sports event or accounts of how stress, anxiety and arousal influence experience stress, sports-related stress or anxiety may ...


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:

The Sports Environment
PDF  Sports Personality
          Role of Sports Psychology
PDF  Heredity

All materials are copy protected. 
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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