COMPETITION STRESS MIGHT INCLUDE WHAT OTHERS WILL THINK AND HOW THE ATHLETE IS PRESENTED
James, B., & Collins, D. (1997). Self-presentational sources of competitive stress during performance. The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 19, 17-35.
A qualitative investigation was conducted to identify sources of stress and aspects of a self-presentational mechanism that may underpin them during competition. Athletes (N = 20; various levels and sports) described factors perceived as stressful during competitions.
Sources of stress revealed by content analysis included: significant others, competitive anxiety and doubts, perceived readiness, and the nature (e.g., importance) of competition. Social-evaluation and self-presentation were also sources of stress.
It was concluded that athletes were sensitive about the impressions their performances make on others, and stress responses may be triggered by factors that primarily influence the self-presentational implications of performance.
Because of the general diverse nature of the sample, one cannot infer much from these results other than to suggest that self-presentation and impressions made on others might be factors to consider when evaluating athletes' reactions in precompetition and competition settings.
Implication. What others will think about a competitive performance and how an athlete is perceived in competitions is important to some individuals.
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