THE FACTORS BEHIND ANXIETY INTERPRETATION AND THE EFFECT THAT DIRECTION HAS ON PENALTY KICK PERFORMANCE IN NONELITE FOOTBALLERS
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this study was to use qualitative methods to investigate the most significant factors on an individual’s anxiety direction when taking or facing a penalty kick and how interpretations of anxiety ultimately affected actual penalty kick performance. Upon the collection of video footage of fourteen separate penalty incidents, eight participants who had been involved in the specific penalty kicks were selected to interview. The footage was shown to the participant prior to and during the interview process. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the eight participants, in order to gather in-depth information and explanations regarding the participants’ opinions on the effects of anxiety direction and how facilitative or debilitative interpretations fluctuated between different factors, as well as influencing ultimate penalty kick performance. The findings of this study were presented as a description of the varying factors that can influence a footballers facilitative or debilitative interpretation of their anxiety symptoms, highlighting a number of factors linked to the crowd’s influence on the participants, the use of psychological skills as a way of increasing self-confidence and thus, increasing facilitative perceptions and what effects the situation criticality had on anxiety. In addition, using previous experiences of a similar penalty kick scenario was a common source behind facilitative interpretations and higher pressure on the opposition was also suggested to be behind facilitative interpretations of anxiety.
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