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Nov 23 - anxiety continued.doc

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Physical Education and Sport
John Dunn

Nov 23 – Anxiety continued Stage 3: If athlete feels that demands exceed coping capabilities, threat is perceived, and the “stress response” occurs. • Negative affect • State anxiety • Loss of focus/attention Stage 4: Behavioural Consequence (ex. Performance outcome) associated with the stress response • In general, performance decrements occur (facilitative vs debilitative anxiety) • Are alternatives (escape options) available? ( to stage 2: appraisal) • “avoidance” strategies/behaviours. Nov 23 – Stress Sources of Stress: “Stressors” Sources of stress in former elite figure skaters • Preparation for competition (ex. Skating poorly in practice) • “mental hurdles” (ex. Performing In a jinx rink) • Interpersonal conflicts (ex. Parents dictate choice/activities) • Skating politics (ex. Receiving biased judging) • Financial demands (ex. Family doesn’t have fiscal resources) • Time/social demands (ex. loss of social life due to sport) • Physical demands (ex. Body image; being overweight) • Sexual identity (ex. Social pressures around homo-ness) Organizational (and Environmental) Stressors in Sport Sources of organizational stress in elite sport performers “Organizational stress relates to an athlete’s negative appraisal of the structure and functioning of the organization [and environment] within which the athlete operates.” • Selection (ex. Unclear/unfair selection criteria) • Accommodation (ex. Hotel could be Cramped, dirty, noisy, etc.) • Travel (ex. Poorly planned, jet lag, lost luggage, visas) • Nutrition (ex. Poor food, inconvenient eating times) • Sponsorship (ex. Lack of sponsors or sponsor demands) • Weather (ex. Extreme weather) • Competition format (ex. Inadequate time between events) • Roommates (ex. Incompatible roommates) We think most anxiety and stress comes in competition, however there are organizational and environmental stressors that can affect our appraisal before we step into our competitive arena. Event Importance/Situational criticality (remember this!) 1.) Overall importance of competition/event In a preseason game, severity of stressor (event importance) will be low In a championship game, the severity of stressor (event importance) will be high Note: the location of each “stage-of-season” game on the event/importance/situation criticality continuum will vary according to each athlete’s perception of his/her situational circumstances/needs/ goals Ray Bourque’s perception of situation criticality when he was in the finals with the av’s was high. Situation criticality depends on athlete perception 2.) Situational Criticality During the Competition • “Stressor severity” is influenced by the stage in the competition, the time remaining, and the score/standings at the moment the stressor is encountered • Athletes will want to see if there is a perceived opportunity to recover • Anxiety can be high if there are fewer opportunities to atone for early mistakes in a game st Ex. On the PK in hockey in the 1 period vs. Overtime Ex. Basketball free throw shooting early in a tie game vs. Last second of a tied game st Ex. Volleyball serve: midway through 1 set vs. 14-15 in last set Ex. Biathlon “individual”: final time in range having shot 9 on 15 vs final time in range having shot 15 on 15 “social spotlight” of situations: in this situation, there is no opportunity to diffuse responsibility. This is the degree to which everyone Is watching. If we feel we can hype the crowd, then that can affect our anxiety levels.
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