Strategies Counteracting Anxiety to Maintain Performance




Charles, Xavier

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The relationship between anxiety and sport performance is explored by comparing the efficacy of performance and individualized variants of the inverted-U hypothesis with the Zone of Optimal Function (ZOF) theory. ZOF or Inverted-U criteria were used to identify cases when athletes possessed optimal precompetition anxiety. For ZOF, optimal ranges were based upon each athlete's recollection of anxiety associated with best past performance. An Athlete can be either inside or outside the optimal anxiety range. We are going to examine the motivational orientations of athletes using the Achievement Goal Theory (AGT; Nicholls, 1989) and Reversal Theory (RT; Apter, 1989). Both theories are useful for determining how individuals varying in motivational orientations differ in their participation motives. Task and ego orientations in AGT were linked with specific motivational orientations in RT. The two theories have similar motivational orientation constructs, which can used in examining what motivates athletes to counteract performance decline whenever in high anxiety competition. We will use these theories to predict the best methods to maintain peak performance during high stress. Then, we’ll discuss how coping strategies, self-confidence, competition experience, motivation and goals will address strategies to help decrease performance impairments caused by anxiety. After we will be incorporating the strategies with athletes individually to find the best methods to help maintain the optimum level of perfomance for each individual.



anxiety, performance, athletes, motivation, arousal, Honors College


Charles, X. (2022). Strategies counteracting anxiety to maintain performance (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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