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Effects of Personality Type on Sports Performance and Motivation

  1. Personality factors and assessment of personality;

Personality is the characteristics that relate to consistent behaviors and patterns of different individuals making them unique (Hollander,1971) and (Pervin,1993).
Friedman and Rosenman started with psychology. They both tested the two types of personality, A and B. A type A person would be highly alert, making them more focused and aware. In a game, this characteristic would benefit when maintaining concentration. In a match, this would mean possession and gameplay would be more efficient and high standard.  However, type A can also be aggressive making them a bad sportsman and they can become angry during certain situations such as a bad challenge in football. In a game of football, this personality will benefit the player due to high focus but high aggression towards other players and the ref could lead to a sending off.
An example of a type A athlete would be Mike Tyson, when he fought Holyfield, his aggression peaked, and he ended up biting his ear off leading to a negative persona put on Tyson. Other athletes then viewed him as a ‘vicious animal’.
Type B personality would be more relaxed and less aggressive. If a player is more relaxed, they may lose focus in a game leading to loss of possession or injury. However, by being less aggressive means they will not injure themselves or others. Also, when performers become angry, performance levels drop which leads to poor technique. By having poor technique can lead to miss timed challenges or being rushed and taking random shots, which are off target.
An example of type B would be Tom Daley. Due to him coming from a humble background and tight support system, he has learned how to respect others and how to deal with stress. In March 2011, his dad’s brain tumour was still growing, however, he coped with the negative emotions and carried on training.
Trait theory;
Image result for hans eysenck personalityAn individual’s personality is made up of key characteristics and traits. Traits are the stable, enduring characteristics of a person (Jarvis, 2006). Traits make a person act or behave in a certain way regardless of situation and circumstance.
Hans Eyesenk’s trait theory; 
Hans Eyesenk is one of the greatest pioneers of trait theory. A person who is unstable would be touchy, moody and anxious. This could mean when performing, stress and aggression levels might be high. Whereas, a person who is stable has good leadership, is lively and kind. This could mean performance is calmer and more controlled. However, some people can be in the middle meaning they would be sociable, active but also passive yet also reserved.
Laura Trott, GB cyclist is very controlled and calm. This is because she needs to maintain focus when competing otherwise she may lose focus and fall off. Laura must also be sociable and talkative as she is representing her country, therefore, must be able to talk to new people every day such as her fans.
Situational theory of personality;
‘social learning theory’- behavior is determined by the situation and the environment and is learnt through modelling and social reinforcement.
-(Bandura, 1977).
Bandura’s bobo doll study;
In 1977, Bandura studied aggression in a very different way than many other people. He studies the way children would act before and after influences. The children were put into a room with a bobo doll under no influence, the children climbed on the doll and paid little attention to it. After this, they were shown a video of others showing aggression towards the bobo doll. The children then went back into the room and that behaviour was modelled. One of the children even picked up a gun and aimed it at the doll (which was never even modelled in the video).
As real-life examples;
There was once a boy who watched the TV series Dexter wanted to be identical to the main character resulting in him murdering his own brother (Daily Mail).
In football, Luis Suarez, a professional FC Barcelona forward, bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in one of the most shocking incidents in recent world cup history, 2014. It also happened in 2010 against PSV Eindhoven (suspension for 7 games) and in 2013 against Chelsea (suspension for 10 games). His actions resulted in young fan believing these actions were the correct way to perform. The young boy then ended up biting his classmate’s ear, stating ‘I saw Suarez do it’.  –  Bandura bobo doll experiment.
This study links in with the attention, retention, reproduction and reinforcement theory;

Attention Observing another demonstrating a sports performer master a technique with high focus
Retention Remember and retain information about the behaviour
Reproduction Attempt to reproduce the observed behaviour
Reinforcement To continue and moderate successful outcomes

This table above shows the ways in which a performer can adapt and improve in certain sports. If a performer followed this pattern, they would see improvement in their own performance as it is the perfect way to learn.
Certain situational triggers (coaches, parents, role models and environment) can impact performance. This can be in both a positive and negative way. For example, if a coach is aggressive and rude, the player will feel intimidated and put down by the constant negativity put on them. This could affect performance as you may begin to feel useless and/or you may get wound up by the negativity and become angry at yourself leading to injury and poor technique.
Another negative way would be the environment, if the pitch you were playing on looked rough, uneven, badly maintained and unsafe, you as a performer will instantly know it’s going to drastically affect your performance and find it hard to play high-quality football. However, this means the performer must be able to adapt to this environment and think about an alternative to how they will play.
A positive would be helpful, constructive feedback from both coach and parents. Things such as advice on positioning and how to improve. By giving constructive feedback gives the performer tips on how to improve and have more possession. This could benefit the whole team and could lead to performance increasing.
Using social learning theory, analyse the reason for why we have athletes and non-athletes;
Banduras Attention, Retention, Reproduction and Reinforcement theory, showed that many athletes follow this approach. This approach helps athletes achieve set goals. An athlete who shows this would-be Usain Bolt, he has a positive mindset which means he is very focused on improving, therefore, he can use this work learnt to improve and put into competition. The difference between athletes and non-athletes is that athletes take this approach a lot more seriously than non-athletes. Non-athletes pose a more laid-back persona and if they slack, the consequences are very minor whereas an athlete’s consequences could be very major effecting their future in the sporting carer.
Martens schematic view (interactional approach); (1975)
This approach looks to understand how behavior is influenced by both personality and social learning in the environment. It states that the environment has an impact on an individual’s response. In the table below, it explains how each stage works and what happens in that stage;

Core Values and beliefs of yourself e.g. attitudes, the real you, not others views.
Typical response Responses such as how we adjust to environment, introvert/ extrovert, nature/ nurture
Role related to behaviour Roles in society, how you perceive a social situation

Individual v. team events;
In individual sports such as golf, the player would not need to give constructive criticism due to there being no other team mates. However, they must communicate with the coach to get advice. Whereas in team events, communication between team mates is vital so game is controlled and made simple. In team sports such as football, each player must support each other but in individual sports, players must learn how to support themselves.
In individual sports, players may be more introverted as other players will not get involved in their performance and they have no influences. Communication in team sports is necessary for example, when a player is on the ball in football and the opposition is coming to tackle this player, his/her team mates must communicate to notify the player ‘man on’. This allows the player on the ball to look up and think about what to do in this situation. If the players team mates did not communicate with the player in this situation, it could lead to a loss of possession because the player would not have known he/she was going to be tackled.

Test Validity Reliability Strengths Weaknesses
Eysenk’s personality inventory He was only measuring his theory for personality (Trait theory) Asked questions, 2 points of view
  • Good questions
  • Effectively measures personality
  • Only measures one topic
Cattell’s 16 personality factor He measured the way you act in social situations however did not measure much personality Very reliable, 164 questions answered truthfully
  • Reliable
  • Good range
  • Detailed
  • Time consuming
  • Lots of questions

In this table, it shows the differences between Eysenk’s personality inventory test and Cattell’s 16 personality factor test, explaining reasons as to why they are reliable and not so reliable.

  1. Motivational factors;

‘Individual, social cognitive process, environmental and mental relationship’ (Roberts, 2012). Motivation is the reasons for acting or behaving in a certain way. There are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. There are also 32 different theories of motivation all aiming to describe personality best.
Intrinsic motivation is within yourself. Things such as playing a sport because you enjoy it, want to lose weight or social benefits. However, extrinsic motivation is things ‘external’ for example doing a sport for media exposure, money and rewards. Performers must be highly intrinsically motivated in order to keep focus on the sport they partake in. This is because not ever match will be won and not every match will give the performer media exposure, due to this the performer who is extrinsically motivated would become lazy and demotivated as they are not being rewarded from the things they want. Whereas if the performer is intrinsically motivated, they will turn up for matched no matter what the circumstances and will be focusing on the more physical side to their performance and will want to play out of enjoyment.
Achievement motivation;
Achievement motivation is when a person strives to do something to get a reward. Achievement motivation is based on success and achievement in all of our goals. Achievement goals can also affect the way a person performs during/in certain tasks.
Most performers have multiple reasons rather than just one, e.g. a football player might be attending training sessions to improve his/her fitness but may also go to improve game performance.
The effect of the environment on motivation;
The weather and environmental conditions when playing sports has a major effect on sporting performance. For example, if it’s cold and wet outside, and a performer is playing football, they will instantly be put off. They will think of all the negative aspects to their performance e.g. slipping over all the time, being cold, getting wet feet and being in discomfort… if you’re exercising at a high altitude, the air pressure is lower due to less oxygen in the atmosphere meaning you breathe less oxygen in when respiring. This results in you becoming tired a lot quicker leading to a decrease in performance and motivation to carry on.
There are many factors which can affect motivation, factors such as pollution, weather, altitude, terrain and humidity all playing a part in a performers effort to participate.
If a club has a wide range of facilities of a high standard, then a performer will have more opportunities to improve in his/her sport. The environment and terrain on which you train/ play on will affect the performers motivation. If the terrain is uneven and rocky, there is a high chance of injury and this will make it unsafe for performers.
If the air is highly polluted, a performer would not want to train or play in that area. Pollution is very dangerous to health and can affect breathing. For a marathon runner, this environment would be extremely hazardous and it would also reduce their performance and most likely make them very ill, resulting in missing events.
Influences of motivation;
Coaches, teachers and instructors can all influence motivation. Dependant on it being positive or negative, the better you will perform. Motivation is a one of the main factors affecting progression in sport. All 3 peers above play a large role in making sure this happens. However, all students are motivated differently, and a peer must adapt to the way in which these students/ performers learn. To make sure a performer is motivated, a peer must work to fit their needs.
If the performers are extroverted and like to be excited and psyched up, a peer must make that happen to make sure maximum performance is met. However, if a performer is introverted and prefers to be focused and relaxed before a game, their needs must also be met.
If a peer is aggressive, upfront and rude, the performers will feel uncomfortable and nervous when   performing. Some peers get aggressive when play isn’t working in their team’s favour, by becoming aggressive and shouting, the players will become demotivated and feel as though they’re not performing well enough.
On the other hand, if a peer is lively, constructive and positive, the performers will feel the same and feel good about themselves. If a performer feels good about themselves, we will be more willing to play and get more involved. When a peer is giving positive motivation, there must also be an aspect of negative motivation to give criticism to improve, however this can be given out in a positive way (constructive criticism).
A peer can follow a training programme to ensure a lack of boredom; (FITT)

Frequency How often you should exercise
Intensity How hard you train
Time How long you train for
Type Variety of exercises

Mastery climate;
Mastery climate is when a leader creates an environment which is challenging for an athlete. The environment should make the performer work to their maximum performance level but at the same time, the environment must be kept fun and enjoying so that the performer stays motived and to prevent boredom. A good and successful way of making sure this happens is to split the group into mixed ability making sure there is a range of lower and higher ability student in each group.

T Target- Aim to master a task, competition is often, clear understanding of how to achieve the staff, varied and progresses, differentiated, challenges are constant.
A Authority- Students given perceived authority, options provided for challenge, rhetorical questions are a powerful strategy to help self-reflection.
R Recognition- students are recognised for effort, recognition of learning and progress.
G Grouping- groups are heterogeneous, groups are not based on ability of significant criteria’s.
E Evaluation- students are evaluated privately and positively for the best response, contain questioning to extend and challenge.
T Time- perception of timelessness to master a skill, students given authority of time.

In this table above, it shows the mastery motivational climate (TARGET) it is the biggest predictor of motivation (Roberts, 2012). It is used to master a task. If a performer follows it correctly, optimal performance will occur and a performer will be reaching targets set. This can help a performer stay motivated and focused. Due to the groups being heterogeneous, performers will be put out of their comfort zone and will have to adapt to work well with others who they are not used to working with. By doing this means the performer will concentrate on their own task and will also help others in their team.
Competitive climate;
Athletes believe that if they perform poorly and make mistakes, they will be punished. Athletes with the highest ability will receive most attention and competition between team members is encouraged. This climate is mostly for extrinsically motivated athletes. This is because it helps each athlete to perform to their maximum. This climate helps the performer work with their team mates and cooperate well with their team. It helps them learn new drills and skills to improve performance.
Due to the environment of this climate, the coach will be stricter and in control of the session. By having a loud, full on coach brings some disadvantages to some team mates. For the players who are more introverted, this will not be a good environment for them to work in. They may become anxious and feel left out from the group, this will also bring their confidence down, making their performance also decrease. Therefore, this climate can both work well and not so well depending on the type of athlete the coach is working with.
Attribution theory; (Heider and Weiner 1958 and 1985)
Attributiontheory was developed by psychologists (Heider, Kelley, Jones and Ross). The theory is explaining how people overcome causes to certain events. It is reasons for / what you attribute to something and aims to explain success and failure in sports from internal and external factors. For example, person A and person B are in a race, and person A wins. Person B, the loser will blame the loss on factors which were not actually true such as; feeling sick, poor night’s sleep, uncomfortable shoes. This performer would then be less likely to race again unless those factors change. This may be down to embarrassment or their own self-worth. In any task field you are searching to demonstrate competence. There are 2 types, task and ego.
Achievement goal theory; (Nichols, 1967)
There are 2 sections to achievement goal theory, task and ego. Task being someone who wants to progress and develop whereas ego is someone who is only interested in beating another to show they’re better than the them. The best attribution would be 50/50 as a performer wants to improve but at the same time win, if they were out of proportion to each other, the performer would find themselves rearing to only focusing on one goal orientated side e.g. only being ego goal orientated.

Task goal orientated Ego goal orientated
Player aims to master the task, seeks to improve in his/her skills and takes ownership of development Players will compare themselves to others, players try to beat others and show they’re better than others

Harry Kane;
Harry Kane is the premier league’s top goal scorer for two seasons in a row. He consistently makes correct runs and movements leading to scoring opportunities. His focus, willingness to improve and learning was all rewarded by getting the call up to the England squad 2014/15.
Lance Armstrong;
Shamed drug cheater, Armstrong was always believed to be ‘the best’. He took performance enhancing drugs, getting him many victories in the Tour De France. All his achievements were looked upon until he was caught in 2013.

Ability Stable, internal (most beneficial)
Effort Internal, unstable (competition)
Task difficulty External, stability (too hard)
Luck External, unstable (worst)

Motivational Climate;
Motivational climate is the environment that a leader creates by using different techniques to impact on their behaviours and motivation by making it fun and interesting whilst also being beneficial for players (Ames 1992).
As an example, for footballers, a motivational climate is the environment in which they are training and performing in. Not only do coaches have a large influence on climates, but they also impact greatly on the footballers’ well-being through the climate created. If the climate was boring, strict and unkind, the performer would not feel comfortable being there. Whereas if the environment was beneficial, fun and social, the performer would enjoy attending these sessions.

  1. Performance relationship theories under competitive pressure;

‘Arousal is the psychological or cognitive response to a stressor. A stressor is something in the environment that causes a reaction. We all have individual judgements of stressors and therefore arousal’ (Lazurus,1984). Arousal is the way you act and behave in certain situations. Such as in a football match, your arousal could be high meaning you would be over excited, unfocused and not under control, you’d be rushing and not be performing highly.
For example, when Usain Bolt got a WR of 9.58s, he false started due to too much arousal. Theory; (Hull, 1945)
Drive theory is a theory that compares performance in relation to arousal. It is the theory that believes that the more aroused a performer is, the better their performance will be.
If performance is low, arousal will also be low leading to loss of possesion and focus. This can make you demotivated and perform poorly. However, if you’re performance is high and arousal is also high, you will perform your best. In this graph, we can see that as performance rises, so does arousal.
In sports such as archery, less ‘drive theory’ is needed, you must keep calm and in control. This is so shots are not rushed or wasted. Whereas in sports such as rugby, a high ‘drive theory’ is needed to make big tackles. You should also be psycied up so you’re more willing to put yourself into those high impact tackles without hesitation. Sports such as wrestling also need high arousal to become switched on and become a bit aggressive to take on the opposition. In sports such as rugby and wrestling, if you had low arousal, tackles would be weak which could dangerous for both players. It could also lead to injury or substitution. U Theory; (Dodson, 1908)
The inverted U Theory is different to drive theory because there is a peak meaning you can drop in performance unlike in Drive Theory. In the graph, it shows that your performance rises until a certain level (optimal arousal) then once you’ve reached this level, performance will begin to decrease.
When your arousal level increases and gets to a certain point, your performance level decreases. The performance is poor when the arousal levels are too high or too low. As arousal levels increase so does quality of performace. Midway is the optimal position of performace for players.
It is different for everyone because if you are under aroused you will find it difficult to maintain focus. The optimum is the best state to learn and when you will perform best. The inverted U Theory is different for everyone, if you are introverted, a performer would tend to play sports such as tennis as they are more reserved and quiet whereas extroverts have much higher arousal levels. Extroverts mainly play team event such as netball and football where communication and teamwork is essential.
In sports such as badminton, if you’re under aroused, you will not want to run to get the shuttlecock, you will be very sluggish. However, if youre overaroused you will rush shots, be over powerful and mess up.
Individual zone of optimal functioning;
Image result for individual zones of optimal functioning
In this graph, we can see a peak in performance. This is similar to inverted U Theory. If you have low performance and low emotional arousal, performance will be poor. The Individual Zone of OptimalFunctioninghas a margin for change. This means there is a range at which a performer can be aroused, performance will not instantly decrease (Hanin, 1997, 2000).
Some tend to succeed when anxiety is low while others tend to succeed when anxiety is high. For example, some performers may find that feeling excited is not beneficial in performing well, while others might think that feeling angry helps them to reach their optimal performance and concentrate better.
Catastrophe Theory; (Hardy and Frazey, 1987)
Image result for catastrophe theoryArousal is split into physical and cognitive (brain) components. This theory is a more detailed, up to date version of the inverted U theory. However, in the inverted U theory there is a steady decrease in performance. Catastrophe occurs when physical arousal and cognitive anxiety are both too high.
A good example of Catastrophe Theory would be Jean Van De Velde (1999), a French golfer who made it to the Open Championship. In this match, he began six shots ahead.
This meant he was performing well and was maintaining focus. He then failed to make an accurate shot which began to build up his anxiety and loss of focus. After the first poor shot, he could not get back on track and his cognitive anxiety kicked in leading to a drop-in performance and consequently, he lost the game.

  1. Attentional focus and sport performance under competitive pressure;

Attentional Focus and impacts;
Types of attentional focus;

Broad When athletes focus on multiple things
Narrow When athletes focus on one thing
Internal Physical and emotional aspects
External Environmental aspects

These types of attentional factors above can change dependent upon the circumstances. As an example, in a match of football, at the start of a match, you would be focused on scoring but also getting back to defend. After a while, you may start getting a bit out of breath so will keep a high press and just focus on scoring. However, as the game goes on, you will start to fatigue (internal) and begin to focus on the physical and emotional side of the game such as the pain and uncomforted the player is in. During the game, a performer may start to focus on the weather or the crowd taking their attention off of their performance.
Relevant and Irrelevant cues;
In sport, there are two types of ‘cues’. One called relevant and the other called irrelevant. Relevant cues are from a positive aspect such as coaches. If a coach is giving constructive criticism, this would be a relevant cue, something beneficial to the performer. On the other hand, irrelevant cues are the more negative aspect, things such as the crowd when chanting off-putting things towards the players. Another example of irrelevant cues would be the opposition. At low levels of arousal both types of cue(s) can affect an athlete’s performance. The athlete may not concentrate well at these arousal levels leading to poor performance and mistakes.
In many sports, an even balance of both is most beneficial to the performer. Athletes need to be able to control narrow and broad as well as internal and external factors during performance.
Attentional Strategies;
Associative thoughts are based on the performance itself. During a football match, these thoughts could include the way your body is responding to the pressure being put on it to complete the match you as a performer could be focusing on your; heart rate, stress levels or muscle pain. Other types of associative thoughts include things such as factors which benefit the players performance such as technique.
Athletes who are dissociated normally think about unrelated things such as what’s happening on the pitch next to the one they’re playing on or on the sideline. Performers who listen to music whilst training or exercising are also dissociative. However, dissociation can be a way a performer can overcome stress.  Being separate from the environment surrounding a performer can help focus on their performance more as they won’t always have stressful things on their mind. Dissociative simply means being separate/ unconcerned about what’s going on in the situation they’re involved in at that moment.
What causes attentional problems?

  • Stress; The stress a performer has on them before competition can drastically effect performance, this stress can be off putting for the performer and make focus low.
  • Fatigue; lactic acid builds up which can occur during a game which causes pain and discomfort. This then cause distraction for the player and they begin to focus on themselves more than the game.
  • Pressure; this could come from multiple areas, mainly from the crowd or the opposition. Also, if it’s a performers first game for a new club, they will feel pressured into playing well as everyone will be focusing on them and watching to see whether they’re good enough.

In sport, a “choke” is the failure of a team or an individual to win when they were favorited to win. Chocking can happen due to a decrease in performance under pressure or due to stressful circumstances. However, all round, chocking is a rapid deterioration in performance causing a negative reaction during an important competition or competitive situation (Nideffer and Sagal, 2006). Chocking also causes performance impairments due to a change in attentional focus. Chocking can cause an athlete to feel low, embarrassed or shocked, this can be due to the fact they were meant to win but in reality, they are failing. They may be embarrassed due to the fact everybody else expected them to easily win and then they fail to meet these predictions which were meant to be obvious.
When performing, chocking can cause loss of focus, anxiety and increased muscle tension, all resulting in a decrease in performance. As an example;
‘Chelsea captain John Terry has admitted that it took months to come to terms with the spot-kick he missed in the champions league final 2008, when he slipped before making contact with the ball. Former England defender Gareth Southgate will probably always be associated with his miss at the European Championship semi-final in 1996, when he shot with a woeful lack of conviction. Both men have testified how difficult it is to score from 12 yards when you are shouldering the hopes of millions.’

  1. Stress, anxiety and sport performance under competitive pressure;

Lazarus and Folkman (1984) defined stress as, ‘a pattern of negative conditions and psychological responses’. However, stress is not always bad. Stress is the way we feel when in situations. If we begin to stress and panic, the performance of the individual in that situation can either increase or decrease, normally decreasing. Two terms, eustress and distress are used to describe stress;

  • Eustress is a positive and beneficial stress, for example, Jessica Ennis Hill at London 2012 was a poster girl, the stress helped her to be confident and out-going in front of her home country.
  • Motivates
  • Inside our coping ability
  • Feels exciting
  • Improves performance
  • Can cause anxiety
  • Can be short or long term
  • Outside out coping ability
  • Decreases performance
  • Distress is negative stress, it results in demotivation and lack of enthusiasm. For example, in a game situation, it can then lead to injury or loss of possession due to the lack of focus in the performer.

A stressor has been defined as an ‘environmental demand encountered by an individual’ and has been organised into three groups; competitive, organisational and personal (Fletcher et al. 2006).
An ongoing situation between an individual and the environment they’re in. Thereforestress directly related to performance of the performer is a competitive stressor. Things such as stressing about; crowd, opposition, weather…
Environmental demands that can be related to the club/organisation. For example, training environment, terrain, travel and accommodation.
By far the least known stressor. It is a relationship between an individual and the environment, however it also links with the performers individual life (McKay et al. 2008). For example, financial issues, housing, family issues.
Symptoms on the body;
Sympathetic nervous system-  The SNS activates fight or flight.
Normal daily functions of the body such as sweating when it’s hot is an example of the SNS.
In stressful conditions, it will produce a larger response such as heart rate increasing due to panic. The sympathetic nerves start in the vertebrate column, leading upwards into the lumbar. The main function of the sympathetic nervous system is to control the body’s response to stressful conditions.
For example, when playing a match of football, stress before a game will cause the body to increase heart rate as we begin to panic, the body will sweat to cool the body down. Preventing us from overheating and passing out. Therefore, a performer must stay hydrated in order for these functions (which benefit performance) to happen sufficiently.
Parasympathetic nervous system-  The actions of the parasympathetic nervous system are mainly automatic and involuntary. It originates in the sacrum which is in the lowest part of the spine.
The parasympathetic nervous system is in control of responses such as; saliva production, tear production, urination, digestion, and excretion. The normal functions of the body which are not under conscious control.
For example, the parasympathetic nervous system is in control of all the functions of the body which happen automatically and without us having to do anything to trigger them.
Anxiety is a type of fear usually associated with negative thoughts. Anxiety can be broken down into types;

  • Somatic– somatic anxiety is the physical symptoms of anxiety such as butterflies before a match. Somatic anxiety is commonly associated with cognitive anxiety (mental aspect). In sport, this could be negative as the rush of adrenaline will make your heart beat faster making you more nervous which could lead to a failure in performance and a lack of concentration.
  • State– state anxiety is the negative feelings someone will have when met by certain situations. State anxiety happens when the person makes a theory of some type of threat. A performer who is experiencing state anxiety may feel worried or tense due to the fact they are nervous about their surroundings.
  • Trait– trait anxiety like state anxiety occurs when a threat is analyzed. However, it differs in intensity and duration of the situation. Therefore, the main difference between trait anxiety and state anxiety is that trait anxiety describes a behavior of someone rather than the feeling. Trait anxiety can also occur under a number of various different situations.
  • Behavioral– behavioral anxiety is the bodies reaction to stress. It is the way you as a person will behave in a stressful situation. This could be introverted or extroverted, stable or unstable depending on the performers mental state.
The four stages of the stress process;
Stage 1
A physical or psychological demand is put on the individual. For example, when taking a penalty in a football match and you were drawing 1-1 with 5 minutes to go. This performer would have a lot of pressure on them to score to put their team ahead.
Stage 2
The individual makes a judgement about the environmental demand. This is based on how highly the performer believes in their own ability.
For example, positive and negative perceptions. Positive perceptions being a challenge and negative perceptions being a threat.
Trait anxious people tend to view more situations as threatening which has a big influence at this stage.
Stage 3
This is the individual’s physical and psychological response to the theory of the situation.
If there is an uneven difference between the demands and the responses, there will be an increase in anxiety, increase in worry, possible changes in concentration and an increase in muscle tension. All factors can drastically effect performance and can make a performer stressed and feel more anxious leading to decreased performance.  This meaning, there will be a change in arousal levels due to stress, for example, eustress and distress.
Stage 4
This is the actual behavior of the individual when performing.
Performance may decline or increase. They would decline due to state anxiety making them anxious or they might increase due to increased intensity in performance.
This stage links back to stage 1. E.g. a pupil does a demonstration in front of a class and does not succeed, therefore the other students laugh. This then becomes another demand on the pupil. It is the stage where a performer feels most anxious and nervous due to the situation they’re faced with.
Cortisol and Adrenalin;
Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland which is then released into the blood and transported around the body. It is often called a ‘stress hormone’ because it is closely linked with stress. Cortisol helps with many everyday bodily functions.
Altogether, cortisol is linked with the ‘fight or flight’ theory. Playing many different roles in the body, cortisol can have a negative impact on sleep, mood, bone health and performance, which can all potentially cause fatigue meaning performance will be highly affected.
Cortisol creates a cognitive response, such as; performer unable to concentrate, feelings, worry. Somatic; pulse rate and blood pressure increase, increased muscle tension. Behavioral; rushing, talking quickly, fidgeting.
The fight-or-flight response is a physical response that occurs when something is frightening. The response is caused by a release of hormones. The final result will either be to stay in the situation and deal with it or run away to somewhere you’ll be safe. In these situations, a performer will experience; increased breathing rate, increased sweat, increased muscle tension. To overcome these issues, performers can; be more prepared (mentally, Physically, emotionally), have better team bonds/ trust or faith, know how to manage stress. All will help a performer be calmer and less likely to panic or worry, reducing the risk of a decrease in performance.

Cognitive Cognitive is things such as process of speech, remembering information or trying to understand something in your head without thought. This can make you feel a certain way without the performer even knowing the reason why. These thoughts can occur both before and after a situation occurs.
Somatic Responsible for voluntary muscle movements for example, blinking, swallowing and breathing. Somatic anxiety is also a response to stress which can cause muscle tension, butterflies and feeling sick. All of these reasons can highly effect performance due to the distraction they cause on the performer. By having distractions means the player is not fully aware of the game situation they’re in.
Behavioral A behavioral response follows with an action, as an example, if you see a good space to pass a ball into, the action would be to do so. Behavioral anxiety can also cause responses such as muscle tension and shaking which also results in a decrease in performance.

Consequences of stress and anxiety;
Stress and anxiety are often linked factors when it comes down to performance. Stressful factors such as thinking about the way you will perform can lead to a performer having bad anxiety and feeling sick, shaky, fatigued and many other symptoms.
If a performer begins to feel these symptoms in a game, performance can drop and arousal levels can decrease, this could lead to loss of possession and consequently, the opposition scoring.
Other consequences would include a negative mental state and loss of self-confidence, both of these consequences would negatively affect  performance. The performer would become quiet and reserved meaning their communication skills would be lost.
Multidimensional anxiety theory;
Multidimensional anxiety theory predicts an increase in cognitive state anxiety. This theory focuses on the negative effects on performance. It is also based on the fact that state anxiety is multidimensional (Martens, 1990). Cognitive and somatic anxiety can affect an individual’s performance in different ways, cognitive anxiety would have a negative effect whereas somatic anxiety would have a positive effect up until a certain point.
Reversal theory;
Reversal theory focuses on personality, emotion and motivation. Commonly, reversal theory focuses on change. It depends highly on how well the performer interprets their own arousal. Arousal can be interpreted as unpleasant but also pleasant. For example, fans cheering can sometimes be beneficial however, other times it can be off putting and irritating.
Internal and external factors;
All factors which effect stress are either internal or external, some of the examples of these are;

  • Illness or disease
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of sleep
  • Psychological aspects such as anxiety or worry


  • The environment
  • Financial issues such as travel
  • Social interactions / relationships
  1. Self-confidence and sport performance under competitive pressure;

Self-confidence is belief in yourself in specific situations and having trust in yourself. Self-confidence is a skill which we learn, be repeated by others and also used to improve performance.
Optimal self-confidence;
Optimal self-confidence is the best confidence. Having good self-confidence can have an increased effect on performance and everyday life. Having good self-confidence will mean you have a better attitude towards things and tend not to stress and worry about things as much as someone with low self-confidence might. Low self-confidence can prevent a performer from achieving their best performance. Whereas good self-confidence can help a performer achieve set goals and learn new skills quicker and more effectively.
Generally, people with good self-confidence are happier than people who lack self-confidence. Confidence can help you to build relationships easier, work better with others and generally feel better about yourself.
Self-confident people can also influence others more, as well as control their own emotions and behaviors with more control and calmness.
How expectations influence performance;
The expectations a coach should have about performers not only affect the players behavior towards the coach but also the players feelings and performance.  If a coach has high expectations for a team who are not very successful, the players will feel like they have let their coach down. However, if the coaches’ expectations are equal to the quality of performance, the performers will not feel as though they have to meet high expectations.
Also by having a coach who understands the quality level of the team, they are most likely build relationships with team easier as the coach can understand the way in which the team is formed and an individual’s abilities.
Banduras Self-Efficacy Theory; (1994)
Self-efficacy is defined as a person’s beliefs about their ability. Therefore, a performer with different levels of belief in their ability may be influenced by other factors. This can include cognitive anxiety and motivation. High self-efficacy performers will put more effort into the game, train more, be more focused and alert compared to someone who has low self-efficacy. ‘Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments’ (Bandura, 1994). 
Application of model to sport performance; (table below) *
England v Netherlands women’s Hockey, Euro 2015. England were 2-0 down with 8 minutes left of the first quarter. At this point, the team showed social support, coach leadership (Danny Kerry) and demonstration of ability. Into the second quarter, with 6 minutes to go, England are joint 2-2 with Netherlands. The English team begin to focus and regain control over the game, the become solid in defense and do not let any passes be played through the line. End of the match, the score stayed at 2-2 meaning the match went to penalties.
Throughout the match, the team showed hard work, grit, determination and teamwork. In the end, England won 3-1 on penalties and were the champions of the Hockey Euro 2015.
What the team did to succeed;

  • Train everyday
  • Support each other
  • Be critical
  • 4 years’ worth of training
  • Competitive culture
  • Very high standard
  • Focus


Organizational culture
Demographic and personality characteristics

Sources of sport confidence
Vicarious experience
Social sport
Situational favourableness
Environmental comfort
Physical self- presentation
Mental perpetration
Types of sport confidence
Physical skill + training
Skill + characteristics
Uncontrollable external factors
  1. Introverted/ extroverted

(Eyesenk’s theory + trait theory)

  1. Social influences, culture e.g.

High performance in one another

  1. Biggest impact
  2. Explicit behaviors
  3. Outcomes

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