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Does the Media Impact Athletic Performance?
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who at worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither victory or defeat.
A point of consensus clearly stated in these sources is that athletic performance efficiency is reduced by distraction. Distractions evoke negative mood responses, detrimental arousal and anxiety levels, and stress, thus resulting in the consumption of mental energy.
By concentrating effectively, an athlete can conserve physical energy by maintaining good technique and focus, executing skills properly, and pushing the body through pain and fatigue barriers. Time spent fretting over distractions drains mental energy so that performance suffers Manktelow, As Haverstraw noted, distractions may arise from various sources including: The purpose of this paper is to initiate an examination of the influence of the media as a distraction and its impact on athletic performance.
For the purposes of this paper it is important to have a common definition and understanding of media, arousal, stress, anxiety, and mood.
In this context, media can be newspaper reporters, paparazzi, television newscasters, or fans and critics who publicize their critiques of athletic performance through the use of public forums and blogs. In order to differentiate between arousal, anxiety, and stress in this text, specific definitions will be used.
Arousal will refer to a state of alertness as the body prepares itself for action. It is associated with increases in physiological and psychological activity, such as heart rate and attention Landers, Stress is defined as a state that results from the demands that are placed on the individual which require that person to engage in some coping behavior Jones, Anxiety results when one doubts his or her ability to cope with the situation that causes him or her stress Hardy et al.
Additionally, for this text, mood is defined as a group of persistent feelings associated with evaluative and cognitive states which influence all the future evaluations, feelings, and actions Amado-Boccara et al. Now that there is a common understanding of these terms, it is important to understand their relationship to athletic performance.
Arousal and Anxiety In the field of Sport Psychology, many models have been created to explore arousal and anxiety levels as they relate to athletic performance. Following criticisms of lack of support, popular unidimensional models such as the Inverted U-Theory and the Catastrophe Theory are being replaced with multidimensional-type models Weinberg, The Multidimensional Anxiety Theory by Martens et al.
It takes into consideration two different elements: Cognitive anxiety signifies distractions which involve inability to concentrate, disruptions in attention, and negative performance expectations Martens et al. Additionally, the somatic anxiety element signifies perceived physiological arousal such as elevated heart rate and increased perspiration Martens et al.
In general, The Multidimensional Anxiety Theory hypothesizes that as cognitive anxiety increases, athletic performance decreases. Also, it concludes that an inverted-U relationship explains the correlation between somatic anxiety and athletic performance.
This inverted-U relationship illustrates that as somatic anxiety increases from low to moderate levels, there is an associated improvement in performance. Arousal and Stress In sport competition, athletes must often think fast and make sharp decisions regarding the task at hand.
For example, when a basketball player is receiving a pass from a teammate, he or she must complete necessary cognitive functions quickly in order to catch the pass.
According to a model created by A. If the basketball player exhibits a low level of arousal, his or her perception declines. When the arousal level is too high, though, perception becomes less efficient.
Moreover, high levels of stress accompany increased anxiety Sanders, Mood Sport psychologists, coaches, and others are eager to learn how to tailor athletes to perform at the highest level possible. In their attempts to accomplish this, mood in relationship to performance is being studied.
Lane and Terry created a conceptual model of mood and performance.Get the latest science news and technology news, read tech reviews and more at ABC News.
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