Anxiety and Sport Essay

3157 Words Nov 30th, 2008 13 Pages
The relationship between anxiety and sports

Introduction.

Anxiety is a reaction that is measured using various scales through the observation of cognitive and physiological symptoms that become evident in reaction to a stimulus. In relation to sports, anxiety is often associated with an upcoming performance. Anxiety could also be enhanced by the intense competition offered by sports. Anxiety in connection with sports is a good topic for research since could affect a person's athletic performance either positively or negatively (Mellalieu, Hanton & O'Brien, 2004). Many researchers on different levels have studied the relationship between sports activities and various health benefits. In particular, sports activities are known to
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Flett, G. L. & Hewitt, P. L. (2005). The Perils of Perfectionism in Sports and Exercise. American Psychological Society 14(1), 14-18.

The article of Flett and Hewitt (2005) introduces the concept of perfectionism and explains how this construct affects attitudes in sports. The authors explain that perfectionism is a construct that is multidimensional (Flett & Hewitt, 2005). Since this construct is supposed to be multidimensional, different authors put forward their own list of constructs that they deem to be important. For example, the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale formulated by Hewitt and Flett in 1991 proposes three dimensions of the perfectionism construct, namely, “self-oriented perfectionism”, “other-oriented perfectionism”, and “socially prescribed perfectionism” (Flett & Hewitt, 2005). “Self-oriented perfectionism” refers to a person’s attitude of demanding perfection from himself and striving too hard to attain such absolute perfection. “Other-oriented perfectionism” on the other hand, refers to a person’s tendency to demand perfection from people other than himself. Finally, “socially prescribed perfectionism” refers to one’s perception or belief that society or other people are demanding perfection from him (Flett & Hewitt, 2005). Aside from Flett and Hewitt (2005), the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale by Frost et al. in 1990 puts forward six dimensions of perfectionism, namely,

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