A systematic review of stress management interventions with sport performers

Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology 01/2012; DOI: 10.1037/a0026628

ABSTRACT The purpose of this review was to systematically identify and evaluate the psychosocial interventions used to manage a component of the stress process in competitive sport performers. Inclusion criteria were devised to select research relevant to the topic area. Studies were assessed for inclusion by examining their title, abstract, and then full text. Based on the outcome of this process, 64 studies were included in the review. These studies encompassed a variety of cognitive (n = 11), multimodal (n = 44), and alternative interventions (n = 9). The results indicate that, in general, a variety of stress management interventions are associated with athletes’ optimized stress experience and enhanced performance. The findings suggest that the effectiveness of stress management is moderated by a number of diverse design features (e.g., treatment adopted, stress component outcome measured). These design features are important to consider when designing interventions for athletes of varying sports, ages, and competitive standards.

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    ABSTRACT: Tested the efficacy of the matching hypothesis in the sporting situation by implementing a cognitive stress management program, and examined the effects of anxiety on performance in 24 male soccer players. Precompetition level of state anxiety and self-confidence of Ss (mean age 23.13 yrs) was assessed using the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory–2 (CSAI; D. Gould et al, 1987). Ss' performance was evaluated on 4 criteria: typical ability and performance in terms of decision making and physical skill. Based on CSAI scores, Ss were assigned to either a cognitive and somatic or control group, and treated to a 12-wk cognitive stress management course. CSAI intensity and direction scores were assessed. Results show significant group by event interactions for both cognitive and somatic anxiety, intensity, and direction. Findings provide partial support for the matching hypothesis in that a compatible treatment proved more effective in reducing the targeted anxiety in both groups. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Journal of sport & exercise psychology 11/1995; · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Investigated the effects of a stress-management program (SMP) based on D. Meichenbaum's (1977, 1985) stress-inoculation training technique on performance, mental rehearsal, attentional skills, and competitive anxiety. 24 male and female gymnasts (aged 14–25 yrs), matched into pairs and assigned to either an experimental or control group, completed inventories over an 8-mo period and received performance scores from competitions. The experimental group demonstrated superior performance, mental rehearsal, and attentional skills, as well as significantly higher competitive anxiety levels, thought to be facilitative rather than debilitative. Results support the hypothesis that SMPs enhance athletic performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Sport Psychologist 08/1993; · 0.93 Impact Factor
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