James, B., & Collins, D. (1997). Self-presentational sources of competitive stress during performance. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 19, 1-35.

Athletes (N = 20) described factors they perceived as stressful during competitions. Content analysis was used to reveal themes underlying the descriptions.

Eight general sources of stress were described.

Two-thirds of these stress sources were reported as heightening athletes' needs to present themselves in a favorable way to an audience. Factors that increased perceived likelihood of poor personal performance lowered athletes' ability to convey a desired image. Social evaluation and self-presentation were identified as a general source of stress in their own right.

Implications. Athletes are sensitive about impressions they convey during competitions. Stress responses may be triggered by factors that primarily influence self-presentation in performance.

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