Competitive Anxiety and Coping Strategies in Young Martial Arts and Track and Field Athletes

Open access

Competitive Anxiety and Coping Strategies in Young Martial Arts and Track and Field Athletes

This study is an examination of the relationship between competitive anxiety and coping strategies in young athletes. Sixty karatekas and 72 track and field athletes were the subjects of the study. The age of the athletes ranged between 18 and 25 years. All had been practicing their sports for 6-8 years. The research instruments employed are the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS).

Results show that martial arts athletes reported a significantly higher level of self-confidence and lower levels of cognitive and somatic anxiety compared to track and field athletes. The two groups also differed in regard to the use of coping strategies in stressful situations. For example, the karate athletes used more effective strategies such as task-oriented coping. In the next step of the study, the subjects were divided into two groups according to the level of performance (i.e. "winners" and "losers"). The "losers exhibited higher levels of anxiety, both cognitive and somatic, than "winners". They also had higher scores on less effective coping subscales, e.g. emotion-oriented and avoidance-oriented.

There is a significant interdependence between anxiety and level of performance in competitive stress situations. Future research should also consider the possible mediating role of other psychological factors, such as personality traits.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Cosway R. Endler N. S. Sadler A. J. & Deary I. J. (2000). The Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations: Factorial structure and associations with personality traits and psychological health. Journal of Applied Behavior Research; 5121-43.

  • Endler N. S. & Parker D. A. (1999). Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS): Manual (2nd ed.). Toronto: Multi Health Systems.

  • Hardy L. (1997). The Coleman Roberts Griffith Address: Three myths about applied consultancy work. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 9 277-294.

  • Jones G. (1991). Recent development and current issues in competitive state anxiety research. The Psychologist 4 152-155.

  • Jones G. (1995). More than just a game: Research development and issues in competitive anxiety in sport. British Journal of Psychology 86 449-478.

  • Jones G. & Hanton S. (1996). Interpretation of competitive anxiety symptoms and goal attainment expectations. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 18 144-157.

  • Krane V. & Williams J. N. (1987). Performance and somatic anxiety and confidence changes prior to competition. Journal of Sport Behavior 10 47-56.

  • Krane V. & Williams J. N. (1994). Cognitive anxiety somatic anxiety and confidence in track and field athletes: the impact of gender competitive level and characteristics. International Journal of Sport Psychology 25 203-217.

  • Martens R. Vealey R. S. & Burton D. (1990). Competitive anxiety in sport. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics Publ.

  • Morales-Negron H. (2008). Self-Efficacy and State Anxiety during Mandatory Combatives Training. Archives of Budo 2008; 4: 26-31.

  • Mytskan B. Kurylyuk S. & Fotujma O. (2006). Psychic qualities and their role in the system of psychological training of judoists. Ido-Ruch dla Kultury/Movement for Culture 6 123-130.

  • Pfohl W. (1980). Children's anxiety management programs: A broad based behavioral program teaching children to cope with stress and anxiety. Dissertation Abstracts International 41 3424-A.

  • Swain A. & Jones G. (1996). Explaining performance variance: The relative contribution of intensity and direction dimensions of competitive state anxiety. Anxiety Stress and Coping 9 1-18.

  • Wrześniewski K. (2000). Styles and strategies for coping with stress. Problems of assessment. In: I. Heszen-Niejodek & Z. Ratajczak (Eds.). Man in the situation of stress. Theoretical and methodological problems] (pp. 44-64). University of Silesia Press Katowice.

Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.414
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.858

CiteScore 2018: 1.60

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.644
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.941

Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 372 263 13
PDF Downloads 175 122 11