Competitive Anxiety

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Anxiety, a persistent and inherent feature of competitive sport, consists of time-limited and short-term events (e.g., making an error or receiving a penalty from the official during the contest) can unfavorably affect performance. Typical responses to stressful events include over-arousal, heightened anxiety, muscular tension, emotional turmoil, and slower, less accurate decision-making (Anshel, 1995).


While limited evidence exists in the general psychology literature for penalty anxiety in coping, there is a salient dearth of similar research on competitive athletes coping strategies during competition. Thus, the purpose of the present study is to examine the ability to predict the use of coping strategies following selected stressful events after the penalty among adult competitive athletes in rugby sports. It is hypothesized that the athletes' gender could be significantly predicted based on their selected use of coping strategies.
Based on a fifteen year research program on competitive anxiety, Martens et al. (1990) have suggested a three factor causal model, incorporating perceived uncertainty of outcome (PU), perceived importance of outcome (PI), and competitive A-trait as the most significant variables affecting perception of threat, and thus competitive anxiety reactions during the penalty in rugby sports. They hypothesized that the first two precursors, PU and PI are multiplicative, with both needing to be present for threat (T) to exist. This relationship is symbolically expressed as, T = f(U x I). The third factor, competitive trait anxiety (A-trait), affects perception of threat independently of importance or uncertainty.
Although Martens et al. ...
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