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Stress & Anxiety - Unit 17 Psychology for Sports Performance

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Lauren King

on 15 January 2014

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Transcript of Stress & Anxiety - Unit 17 Psychology for Sports Performance

Stress & Anxiety - Unit 17 Psychology for Sports Performance
Stress & Anxiety
What causes stress?
Nervous System
What is stress?
Stress is used to define negative feelings a person experiences in what can be a threatening situation.
If we are in a position where we feel pressurised we may be unable to meet task needs, worry about consequences in which stress will be experienced.
Stress can be triggered by stressors, these can be any demands that are put on the person which start stress.

- Good form of stress
- Form of motivation
- Feeling of excitement
- Possible improvement of performance
- Short term
- Bad form of stress
- Causes anxiety or concern
- Short/long term
- Possible decrease in performance
- Unpleasant Feeling

Internal causes of stress can include:-

- Illnesses such as infections
- Psychological factors for example worry
- Lack of sleep
- Tend to be a perfectionist and heavily self critical on themselves (Type A Personality)

External causes of stress can include:

- Environmental factors (too noisy)
- Negative social communication with others (being rude)
- Major events in life such as deaths
- Everyday hassles like traveling to/from sport
Personal causes towards stress can include:

- Friends
- Family
- Partners
- Health and lifestyle choices/decisions
- Financial situations
Occupational causes stress can include:

- Job satisfaction
- Unemployment
- Shift patterns
- Overall job related causes

Sporting environments can cause an individual stress, this can include:

- Dealing with penalties
- The importance of a cup final
- Pressures and stress of losing when the game is in the final minutes.
The sympathetic nervous system is accountable for the fight or flight response.
To achieve this, the sympathetic nervous system causes physiological responses such as:

- Increased heart rate
- Increased breathing rate
- Slowed digestion
- Increased muscle tension
Nervous System
Symptoms of Stress
Once the stress has been relieved, the parasympathetic nervous system starts to work, the system will help the individual to relax and it achieves this by producing these responses:

- Slows metabolism
- Decreases body temperature
- Constricts the pupils
- Decreases heart rate
Effects towards
Sports Performance
Cognitive symptoms towards stress include the following:

- Constant worry and thoughts
- Confusion and the inability to focus
- Poor judgement
- Problems with decision making
- Negative thinking by being pessimistic
Somatic symptoms towards stress can include the following:

- Insomnia
- Increased blood pressure
- Aches, pains and muscle tension
- Low energy
- Headaches
Behavioural symptoms towards stress can include the following:

- Restlessness
- Changes in appetite
- Short tempered
- Increased use of cigarettes, alcohol or drugs
- Nervous behaviour such as nail biting
What is Anxiety?
What causes

Anxiety is a negative emotional state that can be either closely identified or associated with the feeling of nervousness, fear and worry; furthermore anxiety has a number of causes which are similar towards stress as previously looked at.
Trait anxiety:
It is a feature towards personality whilst also being a part of an individual’s behaviour pattern
State anxiety:
This is a momentary yet ever-changing mood state which is also an emotional response to any threatening situation.

- Expectations placed upon them
- Fear of feedback/evaluation
- Crowd/audience
- Failing/poor performance
- Injury
Symptoms of Anxiety
Cognitive symptoms
- Poor concentration
- Nervous feelings
- Unable to cope
- Poor decision making
- Fear of failure
- Mistakes occur
Somatic symptoms
- Increased heart rate
- Sweating
- Muscle tension increase
- Breathing rate increases
Behavioural symptoms
- Becoming quiet before/during/after an event
- Creating excuses for a poor performance
- Tendency to avoid people and not be a part of their team
Effect towards
Sports Performance

Negative mental state is linked with worry and apprehension, performance is likely to suffer if the negative mental state is too great.

If the athlete worries about a sporting event to much, it can lead to a decrease in self-confidence, expectation of success and increase the fear of failure
Negative Mental State
Sports Performance
Sports performance can be affected by anxiety which can lead to a decrease in performance level due to:
- Reduction of concentration
- Decrease in attention
- Co-ordination errors.
Some symptoms can be positive such as an increase in blood flow and breathing rate
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