- Correia, M. E., & Rosado, A. Fear of failure and anxiety in Sport. Análise Psicológica.
Background: The factors that directly correlate to anxiety in sport are not short in quantity. Fear of failure, fear of social repercussions, and fear of performance are all very prevalent in the rise of anxiousness and stress during sport activity. Athletes that do suffer from a higher level of anxiety constantly think about these consequences of their performance. However, fear of failure seems to be more prevalent than all the other factors.
Fear of failure is strongly connected to anxiety in athletes. Nearly 83% of athletes who had a fear of failure, had above average levels of anxiety. However, fear of failure (FoF) did not only connect to anxiety, FoF played a significant role in concentration disruption and somatic anxiety subscales. Any athlete who has a severe case of FoF will be second questioning every decision they make in game, resulting in a deeper consequence than just anxiety. High anxiety athletes tend to focus more on the consequences after the game than their counterparts. As well as focusing more on factors relating to their performance and to their social consequences.
How I Used It: This was an article that shed light on the fear of failure. At first I wanted to make a bond between the fear of failure and stress, but I did not believe adding fear of failure was going to help my case further. It was more of a restatement of other interpretations.
2. Elizabeth Scott, P. D. (2020, August 3). How is stress affecting my health? Verywell Mind.
Background: To attain a quick definition and explanation on stress from another, more medicinal view. A concise view point and definition on the signs of stress and how they may affect one’s livelihood. Gives a possibility on the reasoning of stress and the potential consequences of what the stress may result in.
Most important reason for this article is the types of stress. This page introduces the 4 main types of stress along with a definition of each. Acute stress being the most common type of stress, the stress we engage with the majority of our days. Chronic stress being a relentless force of stress that seems inescapable. Chronic stress is typically resulted from traumatic experiences. Episodic acute stress is the third type of stress that is recurrent acute stress that dictates our lives when active. The fourth type of stress is the positive type known as eustress. Eustress is mostly perceived in times that we equate to adrenaline rushes like competition and deadlines.
How I Used It: This was my original citation for the definitions of different types of stress. I decided to use a more credible citation in MayoClinic.org.
3. Estes, W. K., & Skinner, B. F. Some quantitative properties of anxiety. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 29(5), 390–400.
Background: Anxiety has defining properties that separate it from similar diagnoses like stress. One is that anxiety resembles what we believe to be fear. Fear typically results when we are aware we do not know what is going to happen, typically resulting in a loss of courage. The other defining property is that the stimulus that creates this feeling of fear is not accompanied in the current moment, but rather in a sense of anticipation. Anxiety does not result from worries of current events but rather through expectation and anticipation.
This definition of anxiety can certainly be impactful in athletic conversation. Players who set expectations on themselves and invest in their anticipations will have more potential stress and anxiety than those athletes who prepare without investing in their anticipations.
How I Used It: I used this article to this excerpt from a journal to expand the definition of anxiety. Also used to add on to a major point that emotions dictate our decision making.
4. Facts & Statistics: Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA.
Background: A few useful statistics are available here. Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the US, seen in nearly 20% of American adults. Yet, only about 40% of those who suffer from anxiety receive treatment to help themselves. Stress is a reaction to a situation where anxiety is a reaction to stress. 1 in 4 children between the ages of 13-18 suffer from an anxiety disorder. “Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.”
How I Used It: When introducing anxiety statistics, these were the best available to translate my message with numbers. Also used to put emphasis on the importance of emotional intelligence, whether people realize it is there or not.
5. Goleman, Daniel “What is emotional intelligence?” IHHP.
Background: Emotional intelligence is a massive factor in one’s abilities to control their emotions and take advantage of them. Those who are aware of their stress can take control of their feelings and use it to their advantage. Emotions precede thought, the faster the awareness of emotions is realized, the better one can control their emotions and create a better environment. When there is not a realization of emotions, emotions can diminish our typical abilities to process information and act on said information.
Emotional intelligence could mean just as much, if not more than, IQ. “In a 2003 Harvard Business Review reported that 80% of competencies that differentiate top performers from others are in the domain of Emotional Intelligence.” Unlike our perceived IQ, emotional intelligence can be strengthened greatly with practice of situations that would pertain to emotional control. Emotional intelligence does not only factor an individual though, one with high emotional intelligence has a better ability to read others and understand what they may be thinking.
How I Used It: Used to support the refutation. Emphasizes the importance of the mental aspect of sport by bringing in to play the role of emotional intelligence in performance and how emotional intelligence differentiates top performers from average performers.
6. Handelsman, David J. Endocrinology: Adult and pediatric (Seventh) Volume 1. Elsevier Saunders.
Background: The four most important dimensions in sport are skill, strength, endurance, and recovery. Skill relates to a person’s ability as well as strategy. Strength, endurance, and recovery pertain fully to the physical side of sport.
How I Used It: Used for the rebuttal part of the essay. Although I do not disagree with his assessment of sport fully, he did not give nearly the proper representation for the mental aspect of sport. When he did focus on the mental aspect in his analysis, he related it more to boardgames and strictly strategic games.
7. Humara, Miguel The Relationship Between Anxiety and Performance: A Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective Athletic Insight.
Background: Competitive anxiety is higher for individual sport athletes than team athletes. Individual sport athletes do not have the ability to rely on others for assistance in their job, as well as knowing that only one person can be to blame for a bad performance. Through numerous studies, there is proof that cognitive anxiety holds a strong influence on one’s performance. There seems to be a different understanding of anxiety in athletes, some believe it to be debilitative while others see it as facilitative. Those who choose the latter see less anxiety in their sports compared to the other.
Athletes who score higher on self-confidence tests are more likely to see anxiety as facilitative during activity. Individual sport athletes are also seen to have marginally less confidence in themselves than team sport athletes. Although an athlete’s mental capacities are huge in their athletic performance, there are still other clear factors that will affect their performance. An athlete with terrible confidence and considerable physical talent and ability can certainly outperform an athlete with the opposite.
How I Used It: This was my most used citation for my paper. This article goes straight to the point with anxiety in athletics. I also used the article to emphasize the proof behind self-confidence and how it correlates to performances. Also connecting those who perceive their stress as eustress versus acute stress.
8. Jaclyn M. Jensen, P. C. P. High-performance work systems and job control: Consequences for anxiety, role overload, and turnover intentions. SAGE Journals.
Background: High-performance work systems and job control seem to have startling connections. How strong of a grip a person has on their job, directly connects to the level of anxiety they receive. The research for this statement was conducted through a survey of 16 local authorities who, in total, have 128 departments, 1775 employees who took part. The employees in these departments answered a survey of questions. To determine the HPWS, scale based questions were asked, the total at the end would determine the HPWS. Likewise for job control. Then there were some personal questions on anxiety and role overload to determine how anxious these employees are.
The results were not surprising, but were conclusive. Those who did not believe they had a stronghold on their position were more likely to have high level anxiety, more likely to be thinking about getting a new job or looking for one, and were more likely to believe their role was overloaded. In contrast, those who had a sense of security in their job were less likely to have high level anxiety, less likely to be thinking about transferring jobs, and less likely to think their workload was too much.
In connection to sport, those who do not have the confidence in themselves to believe they have secured their position (fear of failure), are more likely to be hit with overwhelming anxiety.
How I Used It: This was a great article, I could have used it to connect with sports but I felt that athletics bring a lot of complex situations to the table that could have been rebutted using this reasoning. If I used this, I would have connected it with the fear of failure.
9. Laborde, S., Brüll, A., Weber, J., & Anders, L. S. (2011, March 29). Trait Emotional Intelligence in sports: A protective role against stress through heart rate variability? Personality and Individual Differences.
Background: In short, emotion plays a massive role in performance during sport activity. With the introduction to competition in sport, stress and anxiety are bound to come to the surface. Emotional intelligence (EI) plays a role in one’s ability to not only utilize their own emotions to be more efficient athletically, but also communicate with the ones surrounding them by understanding their emotions. Conversely, understanding the other team’s emotions will improve one’s ability to make decisions on the field. Athletes must be able to cope with the stress and anxiety that accompanies sport. EI at a high level makes it easier for athletes to not only cope properly with the stress, but utilize the stress to perform at a higher level. EI seems to be strongly correlated to self-control, a trait that makes it easier for one to withstand pressure, regulate stress, and control their emotions.
This article is attempting to prove EI’s importance in sport with a controlled experiment. Using an emotional trait questionnaire, a 153 item list that each participant would answer. Each athlete would then be hooked up to a heart rate reader allowing their heart rate variability to be read. To make it a controlled experiment, each athlete was forbidden to take in caffeine or any sort of stimulant, they were then told that the experiment would test their “concentration.” The conductors got their base heart rates prior to the experiment. Each participant was then introduced to some negative imagery that would mimic the effect of trash talking. After this “stressor” they were introduced to a 100 problem list that had a two minute timer to mimic competition.
Results saw high trait EI athletes having less variance in their HR while low trait EI athletes had a higher variance in their HR. The results gave us some insight on how high trait EI athletes look at competitors. Rather than seeing competitors as threats, they view them as a challenge. Leaving the stress lowered and anxiety lowered as well.
How I Used It: To give an analysis of how emotional intelligence affects performance. Those with high level emotional intelligence have a greater ability at controlling their emotions to then use to their advantage.
10. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, July 29). Identify your stress triggers. Mayo Clinic.
Background: Defines different types of stress alongside examples of triggers for each type. Acute stress is the body’s immediate reaction to a perceived threat. This may include getting a ticket or a rollercoaster for example. Chronic stress may be more subtle than acute stress, but when it persists for a long period of time it is more detrimental than acute stress. Can be caused by trauma.
How I Used It: Used to define the different types of stress.
11. NFL Combine Results
Background: The NFL Combine is run every year to test the upcoming prospects on their sheer physical capabilities.
How I Used It: In my refutation I used the numbers from two athlete’s combined results to make a comparison between their physical capabilities and what they actually produced on the field.
12. Raglin, J.S. Psychological Factors in Sport Performance. Sports Med 31, 875–890 (2001).
Background: The stress that comes along with sports, commonly raises an acute level of anxiety in athletes. However, roughly 35% of athletes believe that this anxiety – typically at high level moments in sport – actually raise their abilities to perform. Numerous factors such as the sport the individual plays, the level of sport they play, or their experience seems to have no valuable effect on the anxiety levels athletes induce. The MHM (Mental Health Model) proposes that an athlete’s level of performance should rise or fall accordingly with their mental health.
According to the MHM, successful athletes seemed to have similar mental qualities that became a pattern, likewise with the unsuccessful athletes. To conduct this research, a number of athletes were split up into their ability class, such as “pre-elite, elite, or international level.” Then they were split again on their success levels. Next, the mental assessments began. Successful athletes scored a higher average on mental health, mood state, emotional stability, and vigor. While unsuccessful athletes scored higher on tension, depression, anger, and confusion. These successful athletes were also far more likely to be extroverted compared to their counterparts.
How I Used It: Although the article added a great deal of knowledge regarding the topic, I neglected to use this in my paper. Looking back at this I most certainly could’ve added paragraphs surrounding this article but I am content with what I have so far.
13. Tan, S. Y., & Yip, A. (2018, April). Hans Selye (1907-1982): Founder of the stress theory. Singapore medical journal.
Background: The father of stress. The founder of stress theory, Hans Selye. This page goes over the life of Hans and certain activities in his life that took him down the route of stress theory. Before him, stress was only used practically in a physical sense. For example, the term stress would be used when a force is put onto an object. Hans’ work transformed the notion of stress to much more than what it was previously perceived as. Hans was one of the few who never believed what he was doing was “work,” rather he thought of his work as leisure. From the day he was born, Hans was destined for greatness. Supposedly being able to speak 4 languages by the age of 4, he was born to be a pioneer.
How I Used It: To give a background on stress and how it came to the forefront of mental health. Hans Selye was the father of this assessment of stress. He deserves acknowledgement at the minimum, especially in a paper that would not have been possible without his advancements.
Do I smell Quarterback Controversy?:
Surely an athlete who believes his potential replacement represents a better option for the team is likely to be highly anxious.