Degree Name

Master of Science in Education

Department or Program



Partridge, Julie A


Anxiety leads to increases in heart rate, palpitations, blood pressure, and the production of stress hormones and has been found to have an inverted-u relationship with sports performance. This has made modulating anxiety crucial for improved sports performance and has led to research into various techniques for anxiety regulation. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is one technique that has been extensively studied and has found overlapping improvements in stress, anxiety, heart rate, mood, musculoskeletal fatigue, and cognitive functioning with an abundance of this research focusing on soccer athletes. Specifically, with cognitive functioning, improvements in reaction time during periods of fatigue have been observed. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of implementing a relaxation program for SIU women’s soccer program for continued success. PMR training will follow similar models and be done three times a week for a minimum of four weeks, with heart rate, reaction time, and Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2; Cox, Martens, & Russell, 2003) values being recorded. Following a 4-week PMR training, a set schedule will be followed to focus on rapid relaxation and practical applications to the sport of soccer.