For sports performers even though it is an advantage that this nervous system makes the individual feels less stressed the reduced adrenaline production and slower heart rate can also have an adverse affect whereby the performer can become less motivated and looses enthusiasm for their sport. There is a point where a sports performer can become too relaxed because there muscles are not contracting strong enough and it could cause injuries, for an example if a footballer goes into a challenge weakly and relaxed their opponent will be applying a sever force into their limbs and could cause the individual’s legs to gain an injury.
What is Anxiety? Anxiety is an unpleasant state of emotion whereby the individual’s hormones produce feelings of worry, apprehension and fear. Anxiety can be seen as having a negative impact upon performers to cause symptoms of stress and cause too much arousal for a performer whereby they feel to anxious and nervous to perform to their best possible ability, however anxiety levels can be different for each individuals also the cause of feeling anxious can be diverse for every individual. Types of Anxiety Trait Anxiety
Trait anxiety is associated with an individual who suffers severely with anxiety, they are very prone to anxiety and it is seen to be part of their personality. Individuals who express high amounts of trait anxiety tend to react dramatically to situation are which are not perceived as being threatening. For sports performers if they express high amount of trait anxiety they will experience high amounts of anxiety within their personality and they will worry about many situations within their sport, this can very lethal to their performance as they may become very insecure and worry about every part of their game.
If a coach or manager has a athlete who expresses high amounts of trait anxiety they can carry out questionnaires before their performances just to see if they are calm enough to perform to their best. For the sports performer themselves this can be very frustrating as they will be anxious about situations where people would deem as non threatening and the sport’s performer can be portrayed as being not stable enough to perform even if they have great potential.
They portray the theory in a linear fashion and are described in a straight line, an individual’s performance also depends on their skill level, if they have a high amount of skill they will be able to increase their arousal levels. This is because when an individual learns a skill the dominant response will be exaggerated much greater and more positively, however for a less experienced performer their skill levels will decrease to enable them to produce a higher level of arousal.
For a sports performer certain performers cannot perform to their best possible ability if their arousal levels are high, whereas some performers need their arousal levels to be higher than normal to provide them a burst of energy and motivation. Inverted U hypothesis This theory was derived from Yerkes and Dodson Law, it’s theory is based around denying the Drive theory however the Inverted U hypothesis approves that arousal does have a positive impact upon performance but only to a certain extent, because the Inverted U hypothesis theory derives that past a certain point of arousal the performance levels can falter and decline.
The optimal point is where the arousal levels are at the best point to provide a peak performance and is often known as the “Zone” because in this point of arousal everything runs smoothly and goes well. For sports performer’s this type of theory can be affective especially at a top level because their arousal levels need to be at the perfect point to ensure they are not under aroused so that they have no enthusiasm to perform, and if they are over aroused they can become too aggressive and loose composure within their performance.
The only fault in this theory is that every optimum point can vary for different individuals it all depends on their personality and how certain situations can affect them. Catastrophe Theory The catastrophe theory was developed by Yuri Hanin who discovered that individual sports performers have their own level of state anxiety which enables them to still perform effectively and produces their best performance, performers find that if they are not within their “zone” they will not perform to their optimum however each individual needs to discover their optimum functioning zone to produce their best performance.
IZOF theory This theory was based around the catastrophe theory it is known as the Individual Zone of Optimal Functioning training, this theory allows performers to find their level of state anxiety which is most comfortable for them.