Science and Soccer

By Thomas Reilly; A. Mark Williams | Go to book overview

15

Stress, performance and motivation theory

Martin Eubank and David Gilbourne

Introduction

The material in this chapter is designed around two contemporary blocks of theory. In section one, elements of the stress and performance literature are presented alongside contemporary perspectives offered by cognitive appraisal and coping theories. In section two, elements of achievement goal theory, cognitive appraisal and goal-setting are outlined from an integrated perspective. Finally, the chapter concludes with a number of practical suggestions that offer ideas for generating and maintaining an adaptive coping and motivational state.

When the many physical, psychological, environmental and other related demands are considered, it is not difficult to understand why competitive soccer places its participants under considerable stress. Furthermore, the prevalence and severity of such stressful encounters have been made greater by the ever-increasing profile of contemporary sport, and the importance, significance and value associated with success. Soccer is no exception, and today's players, coaches and managers are confronted with an array of demands in a number of different contexts. 'Facing up' to the demands of the game places a firm emphasis on an individual's capability to cope with them. Coping with stressful events is a natural and common occurrence, yet without this capability, the effect of stress on the emotional response and performance consequences for the player may be severe. Inability to cope with competitive demands and the psychological emotions that result are likely to inhibit (at best) and prevent (at worst) the success that the player is striving so hard to achieve. Stress is therefore a process that unfolds over time, a sequence of related events that lead to a particular end. As stress is a corollary of competitive soccer, the first part of this chapter explores these events, and examines the link between stress appraisals, emotional reactions and performance, and the concept of coping with stressful events in soccer.

The term 'motivation' is used in both everyday life and academic language. In the everyday context soccer players, coaches, managers and spectators may openly associate team or individual performance with different motivational states. So, depending on the level of performance, a player may be thought of as being high or low in motivation. The highly motivated player is frequently linked to a range of characteristics or attributes such as commitment, a willingness to work hard and a sense of dedication. In contrast, a player who is thought to lack motivation may appear to be lethargic and short on enthusiasm. In the context of soccer performance the term motivation may, therefore, be broadly associated with adaptive or maladaptive behaviour patterns. In a more academic context, sports psychologists may also be intrigued by the way a particular player is performing, but they are also interested in the underlying mechanisms that help to explain behaviour. To this end, various theoretical perspectives have been developed that help psychologists to understand

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Science and Soccer
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • 1 - Introduction to Science and Soccer 1
  • Part 1 - Biology and Soccer 7
  • 2 - Functional Anatomy 9
  • 3 - Fitness Assessment 21
  • 4 - Physiology of Training 47
  • 5 - Motion Analysis and Physiological Demands 59
  • 6 - Nutrition 73
  • 7 - Different Populations 96
  • Part 2 - Biomechanics and Soccer Medicine 107
  • 8 - Biomechanics Applied to Soccer Skills 109
  • References 118
  • 9 - The Biomechanics of Soccer Surfaces and Equipment 120
  • 10 - Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation 136
  • 11 - Psychology and Injury in Soccer 148
  • 12 - Environmental Stress 165
  • Part 3 - Behavioural Science and Soccer 185
  • 13 - Coaching Science and Soccer 187
  • 14 - Skill Acquisition 198
  • 15 - Stress, Performance and Motivation Theory 214
  • References 227
  • 16 - Soccer Violence 230
  • Part 4 - Match Analysis 243
  • 17 - Notational Analysis 245
  • 18 - The Science of Match Analysis 265
  • 19 - Information Technology 276
  • References 283
  • Part 5 - Growth and Adolescence 285
  • 20 - Growth and Maturity Status of Young Soccer Players 287
  • 21 - Identifying Talented Players 307
  • Index 327
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