Antecedents of Competitive Anxiety in Female University Hockey Players: An Investigation into the Reasons Why Antecedents Cause Anxiety
University of Wales
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This study examined the specific antecedents of competitive anxiety, the reasons why these antecedents cause individuals to become anxious and why the experience of anxiety have positive and negative affects toward performance among university hockey players. The sample comprised of 35 females ranging from 19-25 years of age (M= 19.83, SD= 1.44) with various levels of experience in the sport. A combined quantitative and qualitative research design was incorporated to address the purpose of the study. Antecedents of anxiety were assessed via the Open-Ended Demands Questionnaire (constructed by the researcher) while the modified Sport Anxiety Scale-2 measured intensity and direction of participants’ competitive anxiety. Follow up interviews with five participants (3 facilitators and 2 debilitators) were undertaken in order to investigate the reasons for these antecedents causing anxiety and reasons for anxiety being perceived as positive or negative in relation to performance. The results of the quantitative section revealed that numerous antecedents exist with the qualitative interviews demonstrating that reasons for these antecedents causing anxiety did not appear to differ among facilitators and debilitators. However, the reasons for the experience of anxiety to be positive or negative toward performance in relation to these antecedents differed among these groups. Specifically, it was evident that those who viewed their anxiety to have a positive affect on their performance changed the meaning of their anxiety symptoms and perceived that they were able to cope in that situation. The results of the present study provide useful information for those involved in the sport including the coaches, the athletes themselves and sport psychologists regarding interventions and strategies to prepare individuals for competitions and games. Furthermore, future research designs have been suggested in response to the strengths and limitations identified from the study.
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