Experience in sport and its relationship with competitive anxiety.

Sheldon Hanton, Brendan Cropley, Andy Miles, Stephen Mellalieu, Rich Neil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of experience upon the interpretation of anxiety-related symptoms in elite performers. Initially, a preliminary inductive generalization (Patton, 2002), consisting of a focus group interview (n = 3) and individual interviews (n = 6), was conducted in order to explore the conceptual understanding of experience. Data was then inductively analyzed to generate information to guide the examination of the experience-anxiety relationship. For the main study, based on key themes identified in the inductive generalization, individual elite athletes (n = 6) were then interviewed to investigate how specific critical incidents influenced their interpretation of anxiety-related symptoms. Deductive analysis highlighted differences between the effects of positive and negative incidents on subsequent appraisals of cognitive and somatic symptoms associated with anxiety. Reflective practice was also identified as being important in generating knowledge concerning the interpretation and control of anxiety-related symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9671811
Pages (from-to)28-53
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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