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Sport Science - Sport Psychology Task 3

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Introduction

Psychology Task 3 In this task I aim to report on stress and anxiety and their direct effects on a sporting performance. I will also look at the different theories surrounding arousal and sport as well as describing and explaining the effects. Stress Stress can be defined as the state of physical tension as a result of pressures such as physiological and / or psychological. Stress can be directly related to sport as the nature of the sport itself usually implies environmental factors that affect the performer's mental state. It can be argued that stress is both positive and negative in sport, depending on the sports variables, stress can aid a performance or hinder it. The two types of stress I am going to look at are eustress and distress: Eustress Eustress is sometime known as "good stress" and is gained from certain situations that can apply stress to a performance. This stress leads to positive experience for the player such as self satisfaction and enhanced intrinsic motivation. For example a basketball player taking a penalty shot has the pressures of a time limit and every player on the court watching him. This stress can reinforce the player's concentration and if they make the basket, they are rewarded with accolade from their team members and the self satisfaction of individually scoring point in an otherwise team game. Distress Distress is the negative stress that performers often try to avoid. ...read more.

Middle

It is this ability to conquer the somatic pressures that professional sports look for. * Behavioural effects of stress - the sympathetic nervous system is one of the three parts of the autonomic nervous system, along with the enteric and parasympathetic systems. Its general purpose is to mobilize the body's resources under stress; to induce the flight-or-fight response. In these types of situations, your sympathetic nervous system is called into action - it uses energy - your blood pressure increases, your heart beats faster, and digestion slows down. The parasympathetic responds when you need to rest and digest - therefore working to save energy - your blood pressure decreases, your heart beats slower, and digestion can start. Anxiety "Anxiety is an emotion that arises in response to a perceived but uncertain threat and arises following a period of appraisal and evaluation of coping resources." Anxiety is often associated with being a negative emotional state caused by stress a by product of over arousal. Anxiety can be analysed by two components cognitive and somatic: * Cognitive anxiety - is caused by the expectations of success. For example this will usually occur before a sporting competition. The perceived outcome of the competition by the player or their surrounding environment (coaches, fans etc) can have a direct outcome on the performance. Fear of failing or underperforming, can result in a performer talking themselves into a bad performance. ...read more.

Conclusion

results for a team, manager etc * Standard of competition can affect an athletes performance positively and negatively - poor opposition can lead to an athlete underperforming to their levels, vice versa athletes usually raise their own performance levels when the competition is of a higher standard * Impact of the environmental factors such as track or pitch conditions and weather can affect an athlete's performance mentally * Spectator support - booing and cheering can improve or decline arousal levels depending on how the performer reacts * Ability of coach of support team to motivate It is important for the person to recognize these types of factors and address them through an effective use of managing anxiety skills. Ways to improve arousal levels across a wide range of sports include: Concentration - the ability to link movement and awareness to focus on what you are doing. This can often include looking at "self one and self two". Self one is the instructive mechanisms on how to perform the task and self two is how you execute the task in relation to self one. Mental rehearsal - mentally picturing your performance, the perfect stroke, the perfect shot etc. This helps to elevate your arousal but control this energy towards a clear objective. This requires lots of rehearsal, positive motivation and practice. Relaxation - this is used to help your not become over aroused and can include deep muscle relaxation, music etc, to help control the body's automatic nervous system. Benjamin McGee BTEC Sport ...read more.

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