Anxiety

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Psychology research topic: anxiety levels
Manju, Sudheesh, Steffi
Knes 204
For: Jennie Bradford
April 17.2013

Sports and performance anxiety often go hand-in-hand. Anxiety before or during athletic competitions can hinder your performance as an athlete. The coordinated movement required by athletic events becomes increasingly difficult when your body is in a tense state. A certain level of physical arousal is helpful and prepares us for competition. But when the physical symptoms of anxiety are too great, they may seriously interfere with your ability to compete. Similarly, a certain amount of worry about how you perform can be helpful in competition, but severe cognitive symptoms of anxiety such as negative thought patterns and expectations of failure can bring about a self-fulfilling prophecy. If there is a substantial difference between how you perform during practice and how you do during competitions, anxiety may be affecting your performance. The research question of our research is:

What is the correlation between anxiety and performance of elite and novice athletes preparing for a soccer tournament? The hypothesis of our research is the anxiety levels will be different in a novice and in an elite performer. High anxiety can affect the performance badly. LITERATURE REVIEW

The zone of optimal functioning (ZOF) hypothesis of Y. L. Hanin suggests that each athlete has a specific bandwidth, or zone, of anxiety in which best performances will most likely be observed. The present study investigated the ZOF hypothesis within a multidimensional framework. Unique cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety zones were identified, and it was hypothesized that athletes whose anxiety levels fell within these zones would be more successful than athletes whose anxiety levels were outside these zones. Results of separate cognitive and somatic anxiety ANOVAs on data from 16 female college soccer players indicated that poorest performances were observed when athletes' cognitive and somatic anxiety were above their zones; performances when anxiety was within or below cognitive and somatic anxiety zones did not differ.(.Krane, Vikki) The setting of high standards is an integral part of elite sports, and often beneficial for the athlete's performance. However, individuals who are characterized by frequent cognitions about the attainment of ideal, perfectionistic standards, have been shown to be likely to experience heightened levels of anxiety, due to discrepancies between ideal and current self/situation. This could of course be detrimental to their sport performance. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between different patterns of perfectionistic dimensions and sport-related competitive anxiety and self-confidence, for elite athletes with different self-esteem strategies. The results revealed that the relation between self-esteem and perfectionism differs depending on which dimensions of self-esteem and perfectionism that are being considered. Athletes with a high self-esteem based on a respect and love for themselves had more positive patterns of perfectionism, whereas athletes who have a self-esteem that is dependent on competence aspects showed a more negative perfectionism. Further, negative patterns of perfectionism were in the present study related to higher levels of cognitive anxiety and lower levels of self-confidence. Hence, it seems that sport related anxiety is positively associated to certain patterns of perfectionism, patterns that are more common in individuals with specific self-esteem strategies. (Koivulaa et al) Many athletes appear to perform best when experiencing high levels of anxiety and interventions that act to produce quiescence may actually worsen the performance of this group. These findings indicate that there is a need to shift the research paradigm away from theories of anxiety and performance based on task characteristics or group effects and, instead, employ theoretical models...
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