Identifying the antecedents of pressure for a rugby union player when performing a throw into a lineout, and their effect on anxiety and performance
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this present study was to examine what the antecedents of pressure are for hookers when throwing a ball into a lineout and the impact they can have on anxiety and performance. The qualitative nature of this study enabled the participants (N=6) to give detailed information about their experiences when put under pressure at a lineout. The information obtained from the interviews has been analysed and displayed via visual representations, known as casual networks (Hanton and Connaughton, 2002). The findings revealed that the most common antecedents of pressure for hookers when throwing into a lineout include pressure from a large crowd, rewards, the importance of the situation, previous bad performance and the environment. This study has also revealed that some antecedents of pressure can cause somatic and cognitive anxiety symptoms and are interpreted as debilitative to performance by amateur hookers. These antecedents include pressure from teammates, rewards, the importance of the situation, previous bad performance and the environment. The participants also revealed that they use coping strategies, such as imagery and breathing techniques, to help cope with anxiety symptoms when put under pressure at a lineout. These coping strategies were then found to increase the athletes confidence levels when put under pressure, which can result in the antecedents being interpreted as facilitative to performance. The practical implications of these findings have also been discussed within this study together with future research recommendations.
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