How to control Competitive Anxiety in Physical Education?

  1. Lara-Bocanegra, A. 1
  2. Carnero-Díaz, A. 1
  3. Alcaraz-Rodríguez, V. 1
  4. Muñoz-Llerena, A. 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Sevilla

    Universidad de Sevilla

    Sevilla, España


Education, Sport, Health and Physical Activity (ESHPA): International Journal

ISSN: 2603-6789

Year of publication: 2023

Volume: 7

Issue: 3

Pages: 240-255

Type: Article

DOI: 10.5281/ZENODO.8190031 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openDIGIBUG editor

More publications in: Education, Sport, Health and Physical Activity (ESHPA): International Journal


Introduction: Currently, there is an increase in mental health problems worldwide. However, as has been shown, physical activity can alleviate these diseases, highlighting anxiety among them. Anxiety is a negative emotional experience that occurs at both cognitive and somatic levels. At the sports level, competition can be presented as a challenge, being able to perceive it as a source of activation or the origin of alterations for the athlete. Aim: The main objective of this study is to analyze whether participants in the MiniOlympics suffer from competitive anxiety. Methods: Methods: The sample consisted of 153 participants aged between 10 and 13 years. The Competitive Anxiety SAS-2 Questionnaire (Ramis et al., 2010) was used, which uses a Likert scale 1-4 to assess somatic anxiety, worry and distraction. Results & discussion: Results and discussion: The results indicate that MiniOlympics participants suffer from competitive anxiety, presenting the highest values in the worry component. In addition, boys have higher values of competitive anxiety than girls. Thus, a proposal for activities is made to try to alleviate competitive anxiety with 10 weeks of intervention. Conclusions: This work provides a clear vision about the possibilities of improvement of the MiniOlympics inducing healthy benefits among its participants. In addition, an intervention proposal is presented that could generate an improvement in anxiety and allow students to enjoy the competition or not, so an evaluation would have to be carried out after the intervention to determine its impact.

Bibliographic References

  • American College of Sports Medicine (2010). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
  • Anshel, M. H. (1995). Anxiety. In T. Morris & J. Summers (eds.): Sport Psychology: Theory, applications and issues (pp. 29-62). Brisbane, CA: John Wiley and Sons.
  • Arnau, V. M., Checa, I., & Bohórquez, M.R. (2018). Resilencia y Ansiedad Precompetitiva en nadadores en edad escolar. Un estudio descriptivo. Informació psicològica, (115), 79-92.
  • Asghar, E., Wang, X., Linde, K., & Alfermann, D. (2013). Comparisons between Asian and German male adolescent athletes on goal orientation, physical self-concept, and competitive anxiety. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11(3), 229-243.
  • Barber, H., Sukhi, H., & White, S. A. (1999). The influence of parent-coaches on participant motivation and competitive anxiety in youth sport participants. Journal of Sport Behavior, 22(2), 162.
  • Bohorquez, M. R., & Checa, I. (2017). Psychosocial factors related to the competitive anxiety of sports in training stages. Cultura, Ciencia y Deporte, 12(36), 205-210.
  • Bois, J. E., Lalanne, J., & Delforge, C. (2009). The influence of parenting practices and parental presence on children's and adolescents' pre-competitive anxiety. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(10), 995- 1005.
  • Borges, P. J., Argudo, F. M., Ruiz, R., & Ruiz-Lara, E. (2020). Analysis of competitive anxiety in young water polo players according to gender and performance. RETOS-Nuevas Tendencias en Educación Física, Deporte y Recreación, (38), 20-25.
  • Carta Olímpica (2020). Comité Olímpico Internacional. Lausana, Suiza.
  • Eime, R. M., Young, J. A., Harvey, J. T., Charity, M. J., & Payne, W. R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, 10(1), 1-21.
  • Fundación Andalucía Olímpica (2022). Olimpismo en la Escuela. Recuperado el 29 de junio de 2022,
  • García-Mas, A., Palou, P., Smith, R. E., Ponseti, X., Almeida, H. G. L. D., Lameiras, J., Jiménez, R., & Leiva, A. (2011). Ansiedad competitiva y clima motivacional en jóvenes futbolistas de competición, en relación con las habilidades y el rendimiento percibido por sus entrenadores. Revista de Psicología del Deporte, 20, 197-207.
  • Glover, J., & Fritsch, S. L. (2018). #KidsAnxiety and Social Media: A Review. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics, 27(2), 171-182.
  • Gómez-Mármol, A., Sánchez-Alcaraz, B. J., & García, J. A. (2013). Análisis de la ansiedad y técnicas para su tratamiento en jugadores de tenis. Coaching & Sport Science Review, 21(61), 12-13.
  • Gould, D., Feltz, D., & Weiss, M. R. (1985). Reasons for attrition in competitive youth swimming. Journal of Sport Behavior1, 5, 155–165.
  • Grossbard, J. R., Cumming, S. P., Standage, M., Smith, R. E., & Smoll, F. L. (2007). Social desirability and relations between goal orientations and competitive trait anxiety in young athletes. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8(4), 491-505.
  • Grossbard, J. R., Smith, R. E., Smoll, F. L., & Cumming, S. P. (2009). Competitive anxiety in young athletes: Differentiating somatic anxiety, worry, and concentration disruption. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 22(2), 153-166.
  • Herrera-Gutiérrez, E., Brocal-Pérez, D., Sánchez-Marmol, D. J., & Rodríguez-Dorantes, J. M. (2013). Relación entre actividad física, depresión y ansiedad en adolescentes. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 12(2), 31–38.
  • IBM Corp. (2017). IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows. Version 25.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.
  • Martens, R., Burton, D., Vealey, R. S., Bump, L. A., & Smith, D. E. (1990). Development and validation of the competitive state anxiety inventory-2. Competitive anxiety in sport, 3(1), 117-190.
  • Nixdorf, I., Frank, R., & Beckmann, J. (2016). Comparison of athletes' proneness to depressive symptoms in individual and team sports: research on psychological mediators in junior elite athletes. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 893.
  • Núñez, A., Ponseti, F. X., Sesé, A., & Garcia-Mas, A. (2020). Anxiety and perceived performance in athletes and musicians: Revisiting Martens. Revista de psicología del deporte, 29(1), 21-28.
  • Peden, A. (2007). Técnicas cognitivas para dominar la ansiedad del rendimiento en el tenis. ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review, 15(43), 12-13.
  • Peden, A. (2010). Cómo incide la ansiedad en el rendimiento tenístico. ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review, 18(52), 9-11.
  • Pérez-Cáceres, J., Bohórquez, M.R., & Arias-Velarde, M. Á. (2021). Relación entre la cohesión grupal y la ansiedad competitiva en fútbol de iniciación. Informació psicològica, (121), 106-117.
  • Pluhar, E., McCracken, C., Griffith, K. L., Christino, M. A., Sugimoto, D., & Meehan III, W. P. (2019). Team sport athletes may be less likely to suffer anxiety or depression than individual sport athletes. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 18(3), 490-496.
  • Ponseti, F. J., Sesé, A., & García-Mas, A. (2016). The impact of competitive anxiety and parental influence on the performance of young swimmers. Revista Iberoamericana de Psicología del Ejercicio y el Deporte, 11(2), 229-237.
  • Pulido, S., Fuentes, J. P., & de la Vega, R. (2019). Ansiedad competitiva en judokas cadetes: diferencias en género y categoría de peso. Journal of Sport Pedagogy and Research, 5(1), 21-26.
  • Ramis, Y., Torregrosa, M., & Cruz, J. (2013). Revisitando a Simon & Martens: la ansiedad competitiva en deportes de iniciación. Revista de Psicología del Deporte, 22(1), 77–83.
  • Ramis, Y., Torregrosa, M., Viladrich, C., & Cruz, J. (2010). Adaptación y validación de la versión española de la Escala de Ansiedad Competitiva SAS-2 para deportistas de iniciación. Psicothema, 22(4), 10004-1009.
  • Rice, S. M., Gwyther, K., Santesteban-Echarri, O., Baron, D., Gorczynski, P., Gouttebarge, V., Reardon, C., Hitchcock, M., Hainline, B., & Purcell, R. (2019). Determinants of anxiety in elite athletes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 53(11), 722-730.
  • Rodríguez-Gómez, J. M., & Granero Gallegos, A. (2014). Estado de ánimo, autoconfianza y ansiedad precompetitiva en tiro deportivo. Espiral. Cuadernos del profesorado, 7(1), 13-23.
  • Ruiz-Juan, F., Zarauz, A., & Flores-Allende, G. (2016). Ansiedad precompetitiva en corredores de fondo en ruta en función de sus variables de entrenamiento. Retos. Nuevas Tendencias en Educación Física, Deporte y Recreación, 30(2), 110-113.
  • Sabiston, C. M., Jewett, R., Ashdown-Franks, G., Belanger, M., Brunet, J., O’Loughlin, E., & O’Loughlin, J. (2016). Number of years of team and individual sport participation during adolescence and depressive symptoms in early adulthood. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 38(1), 105- 110.
  • Scanlan, T. K., Babkes, M. L., & Scanlan, L. A. (2005). Participation in sport: A developmental glimpse at emotion. In Organized activities as contexts of development (pp. 287-322). Psychology Press.
  • Smith, R. E., & Smoll, F. L. (1991). Behavioral research and intervention in youth sports. Behavior Therapy, 22(3), 329-344.
  • Smith, R. E., Smoll, F. L., & Schutz, R. W. (1990). Measurement and correlates of sport-specific cognitive and somatic trait anxiety: The Sport Anxiety Scale. Anxiety research, 2(4), 263-280.
  • Taras, H. (2005). Physical activity and student performance at school. The Journal of School Health, 75 (6), 214-218.
  • Weinberg, R. (2002). Tennis: winning the mental game. Oxford, Ohio: Miami University.
  • Zintl, F. (1991). Entrenamiento de la resistencia. Barcelona: Martínez Roca.