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Unit 17 - Psychology of Sports Performance, Arousal and Arousal Theories

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Jonathon Hoare

on 12 May 2014

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Transcript of Unit 17 - Psychology of Sports Performance, Arousal and Arousal Theories

Unit 17 - Psychology of Sport Performance
Arousal and Arousal Theories

Catastrophe Theory
I scored 25
Means I have high levels of anxiety
I am a high IZOF athlete
Athlete's performance will decrease
Athlete is neither physiologically (low heart rate) or psychologically (low concentration) ready
Wide attention field - information overload
Athlete bordom?
Performance decrease
Narrow attention field - cues missed
Low concentration
Over excitement
Optimally Aroused
Only at an optimal level of arousal will performance become positively effected
Optimal attentional levels - focused only on relevant stimulus
Autonomy in performance
Inverted U Hypothesis
Optimal Arousal = Optimal Performance
Pair Up
Log on to a computer and access this website http://www.brianmac.co.uk/scat.htm
Both of you complete the Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT) (Martens et al., 1990)
Once you have both completed the questionnaire share your score and verdict with your partner.
You will now act as eachother's sport psychologist; apply one of the four arousal theories to your partner's test findings, and explain how your partner will achieve optimal performance
Be prepared to share your work with the rest of us
Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning (IZOF)
Considers individual and situational differences
Everybody has a different optimal level of arousal (differs to previous theories)
Can remain in that zone for varying periods
Athletes have preferred levels of state anxiety called zones of optimal functioning (Horne, 2008).
Drive Theory
Drive - "
an excitatory state produced by a homeostatic disturbance
" (Seward, 1956).
What do we already know about arousal?
Think of a definition.
What are the practical implications of arousal?
5 mins.
How does arousal effect performance?
Perception of the athlete

a general physiological and psychological activation varying on a continuum from deep sleep to intense excitement
’ (Gould and Krane, 1992)
'Athletes excel when their physiological arousal is at an optimal level, but their performance declines markedly when it gets too high' (Karageorghis and Terry, 2011. p.93).
Optimal Level - "the zone":
"when you become immersed in an external or internal focus of attention" (Nideffer, 1992).

Positive = Psyching up athlete
Negative = Psyching out athlete
Optimal arousal - Focused on important factors (available passes), can ignore irrelevant cues (crowd, weather)
Heightened arousal - narrows attention - unable to see available passes
Heightened Arousal - broadens attention - focus on too many irrelevant cues
Psychologists try to explain the relationship between arousal and performance with theories.
Linear relationship
Performance = Arousal x skill
Increased performance for expert athletes
Heightened Arousal =
Decreased performance for novice athletes

Increased performance if the task is simple, or the athlete is an expert
Heightened Arousal =
Decreased performance if the task is too difficult, or the athlete is a novice

Dominant response (well learnt skill) more likely.

Complete section one of your arousal theory booklet
Optimum arousal effected by:
Personality type - introvert/extravert
Level of experience
Task type - open/closed/fine/complex (skill acquisition)
Low cognitive anxiety
Partly agrees with Inverted U Hypothesis
Explores anxiety - arousal relationship
High cog anxiety + high arousal = catastrophe (explanation for choking)
Moderate cog anxiety (heightened attention and concentration) + optimum arousal = increased performance
Complete section two of your arousal theories booklet
Complete section three in your booklets
Complete section four of your booklet
P2 and M2 Criteria in Assignment 2
Mentioned in Stage 3 of the stress and performance process -
"increased arousal levels"
Does not differentiate between arousal and anxiety
Too simplistic
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