Controlling Anxiety

Mind Map by Hannah96, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Hannah96 over 5 years ago


A Levels PE Mind Map on Controlling Anxiety, created by Hannah96 on 09/29/2014.

Resource summary

Controlling Anxiety
1 Stress: A substantial imbalance between demand and response capability, under conditions where failure to meet the demands has important consequences. The stress experience is iniated by a stressor and can be positive or negative.
1.1 Eustress: Is a positive form of stress. The performers seek to test their abilities to the limit to provide them with an adrenaline rush. It can enhance their performance and heighten their emotions. It can lead to intrinsic satisfaction and boost confidence levels.
1.2 Anxiety: Is the negative form of stress. It can lead to an increase in arousal and a potential decrease in performance levels. Often performers experience a loss in concentration, inability to cope, attentional narrowing, sweating, muscle tension, increased heart rate.
2 McGrath (1970) suggested that when the performer is placed in a stressful situation they then respond by progressing through 4 stages.
2.1 Environmental Demands: Coping with a physiological or psychological demand.
2.1.1 For Example, performing a difficult skill in front of a large audience.
2.2 Perception of Demands: Judgement about the specific requirements of the task
2.2.1 For Example, more anxiety will occur if the performer has never completed in front of a large crowd.
2.3 Stress Response: Experiences a specific reaction after they have judged.
2.3.1 For Example, the performer becomes apprehensive, worries about failure and doubts their ability to complete the task.
2.4 Behaviour: Attempts to execute the skill. Often reflects their attitude.
2.4.1 For Example, the performer is worried and as a result suffers from muscle tension and poor selective attention, causing them to execute the skill poorly.
3 Causes of Stress
3.1 Nature of the game
3.2 Injury/Fear of failure
3.3 Importance of the event
3.4 Status of the opposition
3.5 Extrinsic rewards
3.6 Climate
3.7 Frustration with performance
3.8 Naturally high trait anxiety
3.9 Parental Pressure
3.10 Attitude of coach
3.11 Media pressure
3.12 Personal expectations
3.13 Nature of the Crowd
4 GAS (General Adaptation Syndrome)
4.1 Alarm Reaction: Initiated when a perceived stressful situation occurs, the ANS is activated, increasing heart rate. 'Fight/Flight' response.
4.2 Resistance Stage: Body attempts to cope with stressors if not removed, by reverting to normal functioning levels, A state of homeostasis.
4.3 Exhaustion Stage: Continued presence of stressor becomes too much for the body to cope with, causing high blood pressure, unable to fight infection.
5 Anxiety
5.1 Cognitive Anxiety: Performers thoughts and worries, concerning their perceived lack of ability to complete the task successfully. Usually experienced before competition, feel nervous, and have difficulty concentrating.
5.2 Somatic Anxiety: Physiological responses when placed in a situation where they perceive an inability to complete the task well. Usually experience high blood pressure, muscle tension and sweating.
5.3 Speilberger (1996) Found that people act differently depending on their situation and personality.
5.3.1 Trait Anxiety: A Trait: General disposition of an individual to perceive situations as threatening. This disposition is stable and genetically inherited. More likely to become anxious in a wide variety of situations.
5.3.2 State Anxiety: A State: Occurs when a performer is placed in a particular situation, its linked to the performers mood. It may be high before the event yet reduce as it starts. Both types of anxiety may be felt.
5.4 Martens (1977) Suggested there may be a trait called Competitive Trait Anxiety. They perceive competitive situations as threatening. They feel tensed and worry about evaluation apprehension. They may not feel anxious in training though.
6 Measurement Of Stress Levels
6.1 If patterns of behaviour can be identified and linked to certain situations, the coach can implement different strategies to reduce the performers anxiety, control arousal levels, and allow the athlete to operate in their zone of optimal functioning.
6.2 Observation: Its subjective however it allows the performer to be assessed in a performance situation. The observer records; Individual Behaviour - those behaviours usually associated with nervous actions, Aspects of Performance - execution of skilled actions, e.g. accuracy of passing, decision making, speed of reaction.
6.3 Biofeedback: Involves monitoring the physiological responses of the performer. Data is collected on changes in heart rate, muscle response respiration rate, sweat production and levels of hormone secretion.
6.3.1 Does seem to provide accurate data however its difficult to measure and record this information during an actual competitive performance. The potential changes caused as a natural reaction to being evaluated and the replication of the competitive environment is hard in a lab situation.
6.4 Self-Report Questionnaires: involves the performer answering a series of questions concerning their emotions in specific sporting situations. Advantages include - Ease of administration, Large numbers can be assessed quickly, Cheap to administer. Disadvantages include - Misinterpretation, Socially desirable answers, biased questions, Time of completion may influence the responses, Available responses may not cater for the exact emotions experienced.
6.4.1 State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI): Consists of 20 statements to assess state anxiety and another 20 statements to assess trait anxiety. Individuals with a high trait anxiety rating (enduring characteristics) are more likely to experience high state anxiety (anxiety at a specific time).
6.4.2 Sport Competitive Anxiety Test (SCAT): Used to measure the competitive trait anxiety of a performer when placed in a pre-competitive sporting environment. The questionnaire consists of 15 statements and the performer is required to state how they generally respond to each. Psychologists can use this to assess if the performer is prone to experiencing high levels of anxiety before the competition. To obtain a more accurate prediction the performer should complete this questionnaire several times before competing in different events, to develop a clear pattern of emotions.
6.4.3 Competitive Sport Anxiety Inventory (CSAI-2) : Refined the SCAT and developed this. It's used to assess an individuals state anxiety and corresponding behaviour patterns. It measures levels of both cognitive and somatic anxiety as well as self confidence in a sporting situation. It's completed up to an hour before the start of the event. After evaluating the data you can identify trends in the performers stress response and weaknesses which may hinder performance. Some somatic responses experienced before competition are natural and can aid in performance though. High levels of cognitive stat anxiety may have a negative affect and they should be dealt with through stress management techniques.
7 Stress Management Techniques
7.1 The aim of all the techniques is to lower the arousal levels, allowing the athlete to feel in control of their emotions and actions, so that they feel able to complete the task successfully. These techniques are categorised into Cognitive Methods and Somatic Methods.
7.2 Cognitive Methods:
7.2.1 Imagery: Involves the formation of mental pictures of successful performances. It can be used to create the expected experience of a new situation or recall the feelings of a past situation. The performer may: create a place where they can retreat if they feel under pressure, Recreate the kinaesthetic feeling of successful movement, Create images of what may happen, Create emotional feelings that may be experienced, Create the sounds that may be experienced in the situation. Imagery can be internal or external. Internal imagery involves a sportsperson seeing themselves from within, completing the action, or in the situation. External Imagery involves the sportsperson seeing themselves as if they were the spectator or on film.
7.2.2 Thought Stopping: Involves the individual recognising when they are starting to worry or developing negative thoughts about their performance. When this occurs a cue, action or word is used to redirect attention to positive thoughts.
7.2.3 Attentional Control: Involves performers developing their ability to alter their perceptual field. This will allow them to alter their selective attention depending on the specific needs at that time. During competitive situations the coach should attempt to identify the Attentional style required in a particular situation. If the performer fails to identify the right cue during a particular phase of play it can be developed through practice.
7.2.4 Self Talk: involves the individual developing positive thoughts about their actions and performances. The aim is to eradicate any negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
7.3 Somatic Methods:
7.3.1 Breathing Control: Involves the performer relaxing the chest and shoulder muscles, then focusing on the abdominal muscles, whilst taking slow deep breaths. The technique is beneficial as it can redirect attention, can be performed anywhere and if practised can be completed quickly.
7.3.2 Biofeedback: Involves the measurement of the body's physiological responses to stress using objective techniques. The performer is made aware of the physiological responses that are occurring and then they focus their thoughts on calming themselves. The effectiveness is viewed immediately and accurately due to the machines biological feedback. Eventually the performer can recognise the physiological changes taking place without the aid of machinery and implement other stress management techniques during competition. Galvanic Skin Response: Measures the skins electrical conductivity when sweating. If tense more sweat is produced to remove the heat generated by the muscles. Electromyography: Measures muscle tension via a series of electrodes taped to the skin, emitting a louder sound when tension is high. Skin Temperature is measured via thermometers attached to the skin; readings are lower during times of stress.
7.3.3 Relaxation: Involves actively causing the muscles to become less tense. This can be achieved using cognitive methods, which utilise thoughts to induce a calmer state, or somatic methods involving the control of muscle tension. Care should be taken, if employed too close to an event could lead to under-arousal.
7.3.4 Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Involves the performer being aware of the alternating sensations of tension and relaxation of the muscles. Specific muscle groups are identified in succession, gradually reducing the tension throughout the body. Initially this may take time, but with practice athletes can focus and relax the whole body almost immediately. This is helpful prior to competition, to help facilitate sleep.
8 Goal Setting
8.1 This method allows the performer to direct their attention away from the source of stress and focus on an achievable target.
8.2 If set correctly, they can help:
8.2.1 Develop self confidence and self efficacy
8.2.2 Increased motivation levels
8.2.3 Improved selective attention
8.2.4 Approach behaviour
8.2.5 Persistance
8.2.6 A Reduction in anxiety
8.3 The type of goal set will depend on the nature of the task, the level of ability of the performer, and their anxiety levels.
8.4 Outcome Goal
8.4.1 Judges the performance of the individual against others and the end result. e.g. a swimmer may be set the goal of either winning the race or finishing in the top 3. The efficiency and manner of the performance is irrelevant. If the goal setting is realistic and they achieve their aim then their motivation will increase. It can be demotivating if the performer is unsuccessful, especially after repeated attempts, and this can lead to an increase in anxiety levels. For those who have avoidance behaviour or are novice, this goal isn't so appropriate.
8.5 Performance Goal
8.5.1 Judges the performance of the individual against their own standards, rather than making a social comparison. e.g. the swimmer may be set a number of goals for a race, including a good reaction the starters gun etc. and his overall performance may be evaluated against their PB. If the goals set are realistic the performer can evaluate their own actions and not worry about comparison. This helps to reduce anxiety, allowing the swimmer to remain motivated irrespective of their finishing position.
8.6.1 Specific: the goal must be related to the individual performer and include precise aims, must have a clear relevance to the outcome goal.
8.6.2 Measurable: The goal must be able to be assessed and recorded to allow the performer to see their progress. Objective evidence or subjective feedback.
8.6.3 Accepted: the goal must be agreed between the performer and coach, this will increase motivation levels and they will be more likely to commit to achieving the end result.
8.6.4 Realistic: The goal must be within the performers capabilities otherwise their anxiety will increase, because of not meeting expectations.
8.6.5 Time Phased: each goal must have a fixed deadline for evaluation, otherwise the performer may loose motivation.
8.6.6 Exciting: the goal must be viewed as a challenge, they must be motivated to achieve success and gain intrinsic satisfaction.
8.6.7 Recorded: All goals should be recorded for evaluation. If there is no fixed record, disputes could happen, having a negative impact on the performers anxiety level.
8.7 Process- Orientated Goals
8.7.1 This relates to the development of the tactics or techniques of the performer and contribute to the overall performance goal. e.g. the swimmer may set the goal of a tighter tumble turn with greater leg drive off the wall in order to improve overall performance. The time span of the goal needs to be considered, both long term and short term goals should be set to maximise their use. Throughout the season intermediate goals may be set, allowing the performer to monitor and evaluate their progress. This maintains the performers motivation, and ensures the performer doesn't become anxious unnecessarily if their ultimate target appears to be beyond reach. If the performer achieves their short term goals, positive feelings are generated, contributing to increased levels of self efficacy. Goals should be set for individual training sessions and evaluated afterwards.
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