A CASE STUDY EXAMINATION INTO STRESS AND EMOTIONS EXPEREIENCED IN SITUATIONS OF VARYING CRITICALNESS FOR A RUGBY UNION HOOKER
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The primary purpose of the study through the use of mixed qualitative methods was to examine the stages of the stress and emotion process in situations of varying criticalness to see if the appraisals and responses differed when the criticality was perceived as high or low. One participant playing in division 1 or 2 in the WRU Swalec Leagues volunteered to be recorded over 3 games, with semi structured interviews lasting between 25-35 minutes in duration. The aim was to implement the course of action framework to view all the attacking line-outs within the game and comment upon all the components of the stress and emotion process as they occur on screen. Results showed that the participant experienced significant variations in performance outcomes based on the appraisals and emotions he experienced. High critical situations often lead to the individual experiencing negative emotions and low critical situations lead to the participant experience positive emotions which subsequently lead to more positive performance outcomes. Interestingly results also found that due the differing appraisals associated with both high and low critical situations, the participant had a different emotional and performance outcome to the same identified stressor. Practical implications of the findings, strengths and weaknesses of the study and recommended directions for future research were also discussed.
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