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The Impact of Arousal, Stress and Anxiety on Sports Performance

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Amy Fairbairn

on 25 January 2013

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Transcript of The Impact of Arousal, Stress and Anxiety on Sports Performance

Arousal It can have many changes in concentration and attention. if you have low arousal that means you wont be concentrated or paying attention. Optimal arousal means you are focused and taking in the relevant information. Then high arousal means your over focused on just the main object/goal. An example would be basket ball.

There are many differences between the theories such as the drive theory states the more aroused the better you perform stated by Weinburg and Gould, and the other theories state that the more aroused then your performance will decrease. Also another difference is that the performance decreases slowly on the inverted U theory when there too aroused whereas the performance drops sharply on the arousal of the catastrophe theory. Another similarity is that the inverted-U and catastrophe theory both state that as your arousal increases your performance only increases up to a optimal level, stated by Weinburg and Gould.

Also the Inverted-U theory and the Catastrophe theory are the same as they both state the more aroused the performance decreases and you can only perform up to a certain level.

There are also similarities such as that the catastrophe theory was built off the inverted U theory. Another similarity is that the drive and inverted U theory both state that the level of performance increases while there performance does. Theories of arousal The main theories of arousal are the Drive theory, the Inverted-U theory and the Catastrophe theory.
The drive theory states that the more aroused you are the better you perform and the relationship between arousal and performance is linear. You can see the relationship on the graph above. An example could be boxing.

The Inverted-u theory states that you can only have a good performance up to a certain level of arousal then your performance decreases. The certain level you can reach is known as the optimal level. The graph above shows this relation. An example could be tennis.

The catastrophe theory states that if there is low cognitive state anxiety then you will perform like the Inverted-U theory. However, if you have high cognitive state, you will reach optimal level arousal then become anxious and your performance will decrease as you can see in the graph. An example would be a gymnastic routine. Arousal Arousal is defined as a general physiological and psychological activation. Further more a state of excitement and alertness (Weinburg & Gould, 2003)
Another definition of arousal the motivational construct that represents the intensity of behavior. (Landers, 1980)

There is high arousal which is known as 'tunnel vision' as you are focused on what is just in front of you. Then there is optimal arousal which means you take in the relevant information. The last one is low arousal which means you are not focused and is when people 'day dream'. Stress Stress is defined by McGrath (1970) as a substantial imbalance between demand and response capability, under conditions where failure to meet the demand has important consequences.

Stress occurs when a person feels they cant deal with a situation and this will have bad consequences.

There is 2 types of stress which are eustress which is good stress as it makes your body release endorphins and improves performance.

Then there is distress which is bad. This causes the heart to race.

There are 4 stages in stress. The first one is environmental demand, the 2nd one is individuals perception, the 3rd is stress response and the last is behavioural consequences. These stages could be taken in a positive or negative way. Causes of Stress The 4 main causes of stress are internal which are self-generated. Examples would be your self-esteem or self-criticism.

There are also external stress which is stress caused of factors outside the body. An example would be unsafe neighbourhood or living conditions.

Another cause is personal factors such as a family member passing which is hard to deal with.

The last one is occupational factors which is your career and an example would be that you could have too many things to do or insufficient pay.

Sport can also be a cause of stress as people can become worked up before a competition. Example would be a race. Effects of Stress There are also two effects of stress which are sympathetic which produces stress response, and there is an increase in heart rate, tension in the muscles, increase adrenaline and increased breathing rate.

The other effect is parasympathetic which is after stress and it takes control after stress has passed, you have slow heart rate, muscles relax, increased saliva and a slow breathing rate. By Amy Fairbairn The Impact of Arousal, Stress and Anxiety on Sports Performance Anxiety The definition of anxiety is 'negative emotional state with feelings of nervousness, worry and apprehension, associated with activation or arousal of the body.' (Weinberg &Gould, 2002)

The types of anxiety are Trait and State, Trait is your personality and is the behavioral tendency to feel threatened even in situations which aren't threatening and it has high levels of state anxiety. (SCAT)

State is the mood state and when your moods change all the time and have an emotional response to any situation. Symptoms of Anxiety The 2 symptoms are cognitive and somatic. Cognitive is in your mind and it is the amount you worry. You have negative thoughts, nervousness and worry. An sporting example would be before a gymnastic competition you could become confused and even forgot the routine.

Somatic is physical effects on your body and it relates to your perception of a physiological changes that happen in a particular situation. An sporting example would be before a game and the symptoms of somatic are tension, fear and worry.

Your heart rate will increase and so will your breathing. References articlebase.com. (2012). (online) http://www.articlesbase.com/wellness-articles/internal-and-external-causes-of-stress-what-is-stress-726168.html [Date accessed 8/12/2012]

brianmac.co.uk. (2012). (online) http://www.brianmac.co.uk/companx.htm [Date accessed 11/12/2012]

drjacksinger.com. (2012). (online) http://drjacksinger.com/distress-and-eustress-do-you-know-the-difference/ [date accessed 11/12/2012]

Fig 1, a picture showing the drive theory. (teachpe.com [online]. 2012).

Fig 2, a picture showing the inverted u theory, (teachpe.com [online]. 2012).

Fig 3, a picture showing the catastrophe theory. (lewisskondo.blogspot.com [online]. 2012). Any Questions?
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