Thought content of Japanese undergraduate athletes (N=166) during sport competitions was investigated. Participants were asked to imagine moments of superior and inferior performances from a recent competition; to recall the situation and their thought content as well as emotions in both situations; and to write down in free description. Labels of the situation, thought content, and emotions obtained during the investigation were each classified into categories. A multiple correspondence analysis revealed that thoughts and emotions depend on the quality of performance or the competition situation. A chi-square test and residual analysis of frequency in each thought category showed that thoughts of positive attitude, psychological instructions and expectations for future occurred significantly more often in moments of superior performance. In contrast, thoughts of negative attitude and worry occurred more frequently in moments of inferior performance. In addition, similar analyses were performed on a group of participants who had experienced anxiety and on a separate group who had not experienced anxiety in moments of inferior performance. As a result, significant deviation was not observed in the frequency of thoughts of worry between both groups. This finding suggests that Japanese athletes may have concerns about the possibility of poor performance and it may result in a defensive cognitive strategy, even when they do not actually feel anxiety.
This study examined differences in the times required by skilled and less-skilled karate-kumite players to perform prediction movement in competition. We focused on the rapid selection and execution of reactive movements that served as counter movements. The participants were divided into skilled and less-skilled groups by two judges for the purposes of organizing the matches. Attack players and counter players were designated before each match began. The experimenter required the attack players to initiate attacks and the counter players to respond to these attacks, and they fought in each group respectively. For each pair, 16 successful and 16 unsuccessful counter movements were video-recorded, yielding a total of 64 images. The counter-movement initiation, counter-movement, and attack-movement times were determined from the videos. Comparisons between the skilled and less-skilled groups in terms of these variables produced the following results: skilled players initiated counter movements significantly more rapidly in successful than in unsuccessful situations, and less-skilled players executed attack movements significantly more slowly in successful than in unsuccessful situations. Therefore, the skilled and less-skilled groups differed with respect to key features of counter-movement skills.
The purpose of this study was to investigate cognitive appraisal of menstruation and menstrual symptoms (MMS) by female athletes in the competitive sports context, and to examine the relationships among the women’s cognitive appraisal of MMS, their interpersonal stress experiences in that environment, and their sports competitive trait anxiety. Female college athletes (n=188) aged 18 to 23 years (m=19.81, sd=1.32) completed three questionnaires: one consisting of cognitive appraisal questions created for this study; another made up of interpersonal stressor questions which they were asked to answer while competing during MMS; and a third relating to the trait anxiety scale for sports (Hashimoto et al., 1986). Factor analysis revealed two cognitive appraisal themes, “threat” and “controllability”, related to both menstruation and menstrual symptoms. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that the athletes experienced social stress in the competitive environment during MMS, strongly recognized “threat”, and felt it was difficult to handle MMS. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the athletes who showed high levels of cognitive anxiety about losing tended to recognize MMS as a threat to their performance. The results suggest that cognitive appraisal of MMS by female athletes is associated with interpersonal stress and is influenced by sports competitive trait anxiety.