Volume 29, Issue 1 (3-2022)                   RJMS 2022, 29(1): 96-106 | Back to browse issues page

Research code: IR.YAZD.REC.1399.050
Ethics code: IR.YAZD.REC.1399.050
Clinical trials code: IR.YAZD.REC.1399.050

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Samadi H, Ayatizade Tafti F, Keavanloo F. Effectiveness of Psychological Intervention Based on Mindfulness Model on Athletes" Competitive Anxiety Levels and Self-confidence. RJMS 2022; 29 (1) :96-106
URL: http://rjms.iums.ac.ir/article-1-6843-en.html
Assistant Professor of Sport Management, Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Iranshahr Branch, Iranshahr, Iran , Fahimeh.keayvanloo@gmail.com
Abstract:   (1488 Views)
Background & Aims: Because of competitive and stressful nature of sports, competitive anxiety occurs that leads to emotional and fleeting reactions that assess the threat of some situations and therefore influences on the athlete's performance negatively. Early studies of anxiety assumed that anxiety was one-dimensional, but researchers in multidimensional theory of anxiety have recently proposed a set of two-dimensional connections between cognitive anxiety, physical anxiety, self- confidence and performance. Cognitive anxiety is a psychological component of anxiety and is recognized by negative expectations and cognitive concerns about oneself, situations and possible consequences, while physical anxiety is a physiological and emotional component of the anxiety and is associated with arousal of the autonomic nervous system. In addition, sports self-confidence is defined as the degree of confidence of individuals about their abilities and the challenges they face in order to succeed in sports. Many researchers have considered the study of competitive anxiety in the field of sports psychology due to its direct and threatening effects on the sports performance and success.
In the past years, the science of sports psychology has used cognitive-behavioral methods to improve athletes' competitive performances. Recently, psychologists have stated that avoiding and suppression of negative thoughts has increased unwanted cognitive activity and therefore impaired their optimal execution.
In this regard, the mindfulness approach has recently been used as an alternative strategy for practicing traditional mental skills.
This approach is clearly different from the traditional practice approaches of mental skills, both in terms of theoretical assumptions and also intervention strategies. Although in many studies, the effectiveness of mindfulness trainings has been shown on many variables including exercise performance, flow, worry, thoughts unrelated to the tasks and physiological factors, but the results of the studies are contradictory.
According to the current weakness of existing interventions and the inconsistencies associated with the role of traditional mental skills training and also the role of new interventions on the levels of competitive anxiety and self-confidence in the professional athletes, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of six weeks of mindfulness-based cognitive intervention on the competitive anxiety levels and self-confidence of adolescent shooting athletes.
Methods: The present study is a quasi-experimental using a pretest and posttest design with a control group. The statistical population of this study who were voluntarily invited to take part in the study included all male shooters (guns and pistols) in Yazd province. All athletes had at least two years of regular shooting activity and experience in provincial and national competitions. After selecting the eligible individuals based on the questionnaire and explaining the purpose of the present study, 16 subjects were randomly divided into two groups, mindfulness intervention group and the control group. The subjects in the experimental group took part in six specified training sessions during six weeks (one session of 75-90 minutes per week).
The Competitive Sports Anxiety Inventory-2 (Martens et al, 1990) was used to evaluate the research variables. The physical anxiety, cognitive anxiety and self-confidence subscales with Cronbach's alpha coefficients of 0.85, 0.75 and 0.83, respectively, show the high reliability of mentioned questionnaire. In this study, Shapiro-Wilk test was used to determine the normality of the data. Also independent t-test was used to compare self-confidence, physical and cognitive anxiety in the control and experimental groups. In all tests, the confidence level was considered 0.05.
Results: First, the assumption of normality of measured variables was checked using the Shapiro-Wilk test. The results of the test showed that the distribution of data in the study groups is normal (P≤0.05). Also, the comparison of pre-test scores between two groups did not show a significant difference (P≤0.05), which indicated that the groups were homogeneous. To evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention, the data of CSAI-2 questionnaire of two groups, in the post-test, were compared using independent t-test. The results showed that there was a significant difference between two groups in the variables of cognitive anxiety and self-confidence (P≤0.05). However, there was no significant difference between two groups in the physical anxiety variable (P≥0.05).
Conclusion: The results showed that there is a significant difference between two groups in the variables of cognitive anxiety and self-confidence. Due to an increase in the negative emotions caused by anxiety and stress in the sports situations, these factors can increase the negative interpretations in athletes. Based on the assumption that unwanted thoughts are the core of anxiety and excitement, mindfulness actually makes the person less focused on repetitive thought patterns. Therefore, athletes can control their anxiety. The findings of the present study on the positive effectiveness of mindfulness approach on the reducing cognitive anxiety in athletes are in line with the findings of previous studies that showed that mindfulness reduces anxiety symptoms, pessimism and negative thoughts before competition. The finding showed that physical anxiety did not differ significantly before and after the intervention. There is a possibility that subjects couldn’t reflect emotions through a questionnaire. Also, in explaining on the distinction between the reducing physical and cognitive anxiety, (Martens, 1990) has demonstrated that physical and cognitive anxiety are affected in different ways. Cognitive anxiety has a direct and negative relationship with performance and should be minimal, while physical anxiety has an inverted U-shape relationship with performance and should be moderate. The posttest results showed a significant difference of self-confidence between two groups. Self-confidence means the ability to promote positive thoughts and self-efficacy in competition. As regards cognitive anxiety has decreased, therefore self-confidence has increased. In general, the differences between the present study and others may be due to the nature of their intervention, the location, duration and the type of programs, and so on. Since the research sample was limited to young male shooters, so the generalization of the results of this study should be followed with caution. According to the innovation and importance of this topic, the researchers should evaluate the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions on the competitive anxiety levels and Self-confidence of athletes in the other sports as well.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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