Competitive Anxiety Theory Analysis Essay

1711 Words Dec 5th, 2010 7 Pages
Competition can cause athletes to react both physically and mentally in a manner that may negatively affect their performance abilities. Stress, arousal, and anxiety are terms used to describe this condition. Competitive state-anxiety usually follows a pattern of subjective feelings such as tension and inadequacy, combined with heightened arousal of the autonomic nervous system. This anxiety type includes state and trait dimensions both of which can show themselves as cognitive and somatic symptoms.
Over the years many distinguished sports psychologists have developed various theories and tests in order to correctly identify competitive anxiety in athletes. These theories and tests have been used in conjunction to understand and
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Hanin’s IZOF however did not address all the remaining questions surrounding competitive anxiety. Psychologists developed the Multi-dimensional Anxiety Theory in attempt to foster answers to these remaining questions.
Multi-dimensional Anxiety Theory is based on the distinction between cognitive and somatic anxiety (McNally, 2002). The Multidimensional Theory has been invaluable in leading the way towards identification and establishment of cognitive and somatic anxiety arousal as two distinct sub-components of the Anxiety states. Anxiety states (A-state) is our response to a particular sport, such as sky-diving or Hang gliding. This theory is based on three specific predictions concerning anxiety and performance. There is a negative presence but linear relationship between cognitive anxiety and performance. An inverted U relationship between physical anxiety and performance, as well as a physical anxiety, exists that should decline when performance begins although cognitive anxiety may remain high if confidence is low. The Multi-dimensional Anxiety Theory, was deemed inadequate by other sports psychologists. They felt that these three predictions could not identify, or categorize the competitive anxiety in athletes. Some psychologists thought that an additional model would be required to answer the remaining question (Weinberg, 2007).
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