Anxiety, Optymism, Stress Sensitivity And Stress-coping Among Dressage Riders

Por: Agnieszka Pisarek e Debek Iwona.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction
Professional sportsmen are required to cope with stress during competition. Such situations may cause anxiety and
psychological pressure. We were interested if, and in what way, are anxiety, optimism, sensitivity and stress-coping
styles interrelated. The objective of our experiments was to characterise a group of dressage riders as regards the
correlation of these features.

Methods
C.D. Spielberger, J. Strelau, M. Tysarczyk, K. Wrześniewski: STAI- X1 in a neutral situation and during a competition,
M.E. Seligman: ASQ, N.S. Endler, J.D. Parker, J. Strelau, P.Szczepaniak, K.Wrześniewski: CISS, H.Liendemannn:
Skala Liendemann’a 1. 40 competitors took part in the experiment (juniors, young riders, and seniors): 13 of them were
members of the national team, and 27 were not (others). We used the correlation matrix and t-Student test for
independent groups (national team, others).

Results
Older competitors have a lower level of anxiety as a state, rarer apply emotional style, they also think more often that
the causes of their failures are short-term and have a limited range (SN+ZN). During competition, competitors with a
high level of anxiety as state apply evasive and emotional style of stress-coping, whereas those with a low level of
anxiety apply task-oriented style. Competitors with low sensitivity to situations of stress have also low levels of anxiety
as a trait.When divided into national team and not-national team, members of the national team had a lower level of
anxiety as state during competition and lower level of sensitivity to stress.

Conclusions
Lower level of anxiety as state, rarer using of emotional style and higher level of hope of elder competitors may be
explained by longer life experience. Lower level of anxiety as state during competition of national team members may
be the result of more frequent participation in contests (experience) or of achieving better results [1]. National team
members more often perceive stress during competition as stimulating (eustress) than not-national team [2]. Emotional
and evasive styles applied by some competitors are connected with experiencing negative emotions [3]. Competition is
always connected with anxiety [4]; therefore psychological help aimed at lowering its level among competitors should
be one of the tasks when working with sportsmen. Lower anxiety, according to observed tendencies, correlates with
task-oriented style, which is the most beneficial for sportsmen.

References
[1].Sosnowski T.(1977) Przegląd psychologiczny, nr.2 s.349-360
[2].Selye H. (1977) Stres okiełznany
[3].Borkowski J. (2001) Radzenie sobie ze stresem a poczucie tożsamości
[4].Seligman M. P. E. (1990) Learned optimism

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