Although cognitive-behavioral strategies have been demonstrated relatively effective in improving sport performance and regulating various affective states among highly skilled athletes, the strategy-anxiety relationship has been left largely untested within the realm of recreational sport. The present study utilized self-report data from 186 recreational league tennis players in order to describe the prevalence, types, sources, and perceived effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral strategy use among a sub-elite sample as well as to determine the extent to which each strategy contributed to changes in cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence prior to official competition. Nearly 30% of the sample reported using strategies in training and competition , comprised by relaxation, mental imagery, attention control, positive self-talk, and goal-setting. Stepwise regression analyses controlling for player characteristics revealed that attentional control and goal-setting strategies contributed to lower cognitive state anxiety, attention control and imagery/relaxation strategies resulted in lower somatic state anxiety, and attention control and positive self-talk contributed to increased state self-confidence. The role of specific cognitive-behavioral techniques in facilitating adaptability to competitive stress among recreational athletes is discussed.
Ryska, Todd A.
"Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies and Precompetitive Anxiety Among Recreational Athletes,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 48
, Article 11.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol48/iss4/11