The Impact of competitive state anxiety upon rugby performance in forwards and backs
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of the current study was to qualitatively examine the interpreted symptoms of competitive state anxiety on rugby union forwards and back to derive how and why these affect their performance. Through the practice of a qualitative design, ten male, amateur rugby union players consisting of five forwards and five backs were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide, aimed to investigate the players’ identified pre-competitive anxiety symptoms and their interpretation of how and why they affect their performance. Interviews were recorded and transcribed before data analysis involving both an inductive and deductive approaches to analyse each of the interview transcripts. Causal networks demonstrated the interpretations of forwards and backs identified cognitive and somatic anxiety symptoms on performance. The causal networks revealed no differences between forwards and backs of how and why identified symptoms affected performance, suggesting anxiety management interventions can generalise across both positions. Self-confidence and perceived control were both identified as factors which influenced the performer’s interpretation of anxiety symptoms. Coping strategies were also utilised by performers to develop facilitative interpretations of cognitive symptoms. Practical implications suggest that anxiety management interventions should incorporate confidence protection strategies to protect against debilitating effects of anxiety, also methods of developing perceived control of symptoms. Sports psychologists should educate performers with coping strategies and psychological skills aimed at developing their facilitative interpretations of anxiety symptoms on performance
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
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