EFFECTS OF ANXIETY ON PERFORMANCE ARE SET MORE THAN 24 HOURS BEFORE A COMPETITION
Wiggins, M. S. (1998). Anxiety intensity and direction: Preperformance temporal patterns and expectations in athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 10, 201-211.
The purpose of this study was to identify temporal patterns, intensity, and direction of anxiety and self-confidence levels, and precompetitive performance expectations at three times (24, 2, and 1 hr) before competing. Volunteer high school and college male and female athletes (N = 91) competing in soccer, swimming, and track and field served as Ss. The intensity of cognitive and somatic anxiety was measured with the CSAI-2. The direction of anxiety and self-confidence was measured with a facilitative/debilitative scale. Expectations about performance were assessed using a specially developed scale.
Athletes perceived cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence symptoms to be favorable for performance. Somatic anxiety was considered more facilitative than cognitive anxiety. Performance expectations were significantly related to self-confidence intensity and direction but not to somatic or cognitive anxiety.
Over time, cognitive anxiety did not change but somatic anxiety increased significantly from 24 hours to 1 hour. Self-confidence decreased slightly, but significantly over the same period. Performance expectations did not change with time.
Implication. Once an athlete appraises anxiety symptoms as facilitative or debilitative, and assesses a level of expectation for performance, those evaluations remain consistent in the final 24 hours before competing. The role of anxiety for affecting performance is usually set more than 24 hours before a contest.
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