Analysis of Mood States, Nail Anxiety, and State Anxiety: A Study with Athletes before Artistic Gymnastics Competitions

By Patrícia, Barreto Marques; Verardi, Carlos Eduardo Lopes et al. | Journal of Physical Education and Sport, November 2019 | Go to article overview

Analysis of Mood States, Nail Anxiety, and State Anxiety: A Study with Athletes before Artistic Gymnastics Competitions


Patrícia, Barreto Marques, Verardi, Carlos Eduardo Lopes, Filho, Dalton Müller Pessôa, Merussi, Neiva Cassiano, Journal of Physical Education and Sport


Introduction

Anxiety is one of the main and most frequent emotional states experienced in the sporting environment. Each individual reacts differently to anxiety, but it is known that its presence without ideal control can negatively affect the athletes' performance, and therefore deserves great attention from teachers, coaches, and sports psychologists (Robinson & Freeston, 2015; Scott-Hamilton et al., 2016). In view of the existing variation caused by individual and situational aspects, anxiety can be distinguished into two types: trait anxiety, which refers to an aspect of the personality in which nervousness, apprehension, or tension is a stable personality trait in an individual, and state anxiety, which refers to temporary feelings of anxiety in a specific situation (Horikawa & Yagi, 2012; Weinberg & Gould, 2014).

Mood states may reflect feelings of exaltation, happiness, sadness, and anguish, among others. The mood state can also vary in intensity, involving different states, being five negative (tension, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion) and one positive state (vigor). In sports, mood states are pointed out as decisive factors, which may even explain part of the performance of athletes in a competition. Athletes with mood states characterized by a high level of vigor and low levels of fatigue, tension, depression, confusion, and anger tend to have a better sports performance (Chennaoui et al., 2016; Lane, et al., 2005; Gatti & De Palo, 2011). Because they are a consequence of the athletes' emotional, bodily, and behavioral states, which involve feelings, thoughts, and degree of enthusiasm in performing the task, mood states, when out of optimal performance conditions, may compromise athletic performance and indicate a training overload (Brandt et al., 2014; Hagtvet & Hanin, 2007; Weinberg & Gould, 2014).

In athletes, the effects of physical vigor usually surpass those of the negative variables that make up mood. This state is called an iceberg profile, a profile close to that considered ideal for athletes to achieve the best sports performance. In cases that show a profile opposite to that of the iceberg, the mood state is considered depressed, that is, a lower level of vigor and higher fatigue, tension, anger, confusion, and depression. (Morgan et al., 1987).

Understanding athletes' behavior in face of various sports situations can contribute to improving their performance and motivation, avoiding physical and psychological damage and consequently reducing the probability of sports practice withdrawal. The objectives of the present study were to analyze and associate the scores related to mood, trait anxiety, and state anxiety in artistic female gymnasts in the moments before sports competitions.

Methods

Sample

The sample was composed of 80 female gymnasts from 11 municipalities in the state of Säo Paulo, Brazil, with an average age of 13.2 ± 2.1 years. All the participants were part of municipal teams. The athletes reported having started the practice of artistic gymnastics at 6.48 ± 2.67 years of age and having been participating in competitions for 5.3 ± 2.5 years (Table 1).

The athletes were selected at random and asked to respond to the questionnaires individually at the artistic gymnastics competitions venue approximately 30 minutes before the event. The present study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the School of Sciences at the State University of Säo Paulo under report no. 323,400.

Instruments

A demographic assessment sheet was used to collect data on the following variables: age, gender, time as an athlete, time of participation in competitions, number of participations in competitions, and other questions about training and competition.

The instrument used to assess state anxiety was the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2), proposed by Martens, Vealey, and Burton (1990), which aims to measure the state of pre-competitive anxiety, that is, how anxious athletes feel at a given moment. …

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