Anxiety And Sports Performance : Measurement And Regulation Essay

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Anxiety and Sport Performance – Measurement and Regulation.
Selye, (1983) (Cited in Cox, 2007, p.198) describes anxiety as a multidimensional emotion that is triggered by either eustress or distress. It has a trait component, which reflects personality dispositions, and a state component, which is situation specific. Both trait and state anxiety display cognitive (mental) and somatic (physical) symptoms (Kais, 2005). He describes how anxiety can have positive, facilitating or negative, debilitating effects upon performance. Therefore, it is important that professional sport psychologists, coaches and athletes are aware of the effects anxiety has upon performance. It is also important to remember that each athlete will interpret anxiety differently, due to personality dispositions. For example, introverts have a more sensitive reticular activating system, thus, an increased tendency for anxiety. Anxiety needs to be controlled to enable an athlete to produce an optimal performance.
Campbell and Willis (1992) explain that some individuals may find anxiety threatening. This is because it can affect their self-esteem. They define anxiety as an emotional state that inflicts feelings of apprehension upon the individual, along with other psychosomatic symptoms such as fear, nausea and increased arousal, accompanied by heightened autonomic system activity. Arousal can be defined as a ‘’level of physiological and behavioural responsiveness, which tends to vary between sleep and full…

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