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STRESS MANAGEMENT. Damon Burton Vandal Sport Psychology Services University of Idaho. MISCONCEPTION 1: STRESS IS HIGH SITUATIONAL DEMAND.

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Stress management l.jpg

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Damon Burton

Vandal Sport Psychology Services

University of Idaho


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MISCONCEPTION 1: STRESS IS HIGH SITUATIONAL DEMAND

  • Situations are not inherently stressful because competitive demands exceed performers’ response capabilities such as shooting a free throw or taking a penalty kick with the game on the line, playing a tiebreaker in a tennis match, having a sudden death playoff in golf, or batting with the game tied in the ninth in baseball.

  • Olympic Finals, Superbowls, seventh games of NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball Championship Series, the final holes of the Masters or a tie breaker at Wimbleton are not innately stressful.


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STRESSFUL LIFE EVENTS RESEARCH

  • Individuals who experience stressful life events such as taking a new job, moving, getting married or divorced, having a baby, losing a loved one, dealing with serious medical problems report higher stress levels than those with mundane lives.

  • Sport has many competitive experiences that can be stressful such as playing for a new team, having a new coach, moving up or down in competitive level, going through a slump, experiencing lengthy winning or losing streaks or getting benched or starting unexpectedly.


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STRESS = ACCUMULATION OF DAILY HASSLES

  • Life’s daily hassles include: the alarm not going off, being late for class, missing an appointment, breaking a shoestring, fighting with a friend, forgetting an assignment or burning dinner.

  • Sport hassles include: equipment malfunctions, weather problems, your coach is in a bad mood, a teammate repeatedly makes the same mistake, and you feel tired and a step slow.


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MISCONCEPTION 2: STRESS IS AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE

  • Heightened activation of the autonomic nervous system due to perceived threat doesn’t always create stress.

  • No matter how great the environmental demand, you will not be stressed as long as you believe you have the response capabilities to deal with it.


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WHAT IS STRESS?

  • Stress – is a substantial imbalance between environmental demand (i.e., what you perceive is being demanded of you) and response capabilities (i.e., what you perceive your capabilities are for meeting those demands), when you perceive success to be important (McGrath, 1970).


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LAZARUS’ MODELOF STRESS

  • primary appraisal

  • secondary appraisal

  • coping resources


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PRIMARY APPRAISAL

  • Performers evaluate the impact of the upcoming situation on their physical and psychological well-being.

  • They ask the question, “What’s at stake in this situation for me?”


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COMPONENTS OF PRIMARY APPRAISAL

  • goal importance– the degree to which the situation will impact attainment of valued personal goals.

  • ego identity – the extent that you identify with or are committed to attaining your goals,

  • goal uncertainty – the degree to which you are unsure of whether you can attain your personal goals.


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SECONDARY APPRAISAL

  • When primary appraisal confirms that something meaningful is at stake in the situation, secondary appraisal assesses how well competitors can manage the demands of the situation.

  • They ask the question, “What can be done?”

  • Performers evaluate how much personal control they have over preventing or overcoming harm and maximizing their chances for achieving positive outcomes.


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COMPONENTS OF SECONDARY APPRAISAL

  • perceived control– assesses whether personal coping efforts can reduce or eliminate the source of uncertainty in the situation.

    • “How much control do I have over eliminating my anxiety about playing poorly in tonight’s big game?”

  • coping potential – If the source of stress is controllable, coping potential is your evaluation of whether you have the necessary coping resources to actually reduce or eliminate the source of uncertainty in this situation.

    • “Do I have the skills/strategies to manage this?”

    • “Can I make them work in this situation?”


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OVERALL APPRAISAL

  • Whether overall appraisal of the situation is viewed positively as a challenge or benefit or negatively as a threat or harm/loss depends on one’s responses to two critical secondary appraisal questions:

    • “How much control do I have to reduce or eliminate the source of stress?”

    • “What is my potential ability to cope with these sources of stress, both the options available to me and the potential effectiveness of those options?”


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CHALLENGE APPRAISALS

  • Challenge appraisals put a “positive spin” on competition, focusing on the opportunity to overcome obstacles and achieve success.

  • Challenge appraisals normally prompt

    • optimistic emotions,

    • constructive coping strategies, and

    • effective performance.


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THREAT APPRAISALS

  • Threat appraisals occur when performers appraise control over sources of stress as low and/or perceive low coping potential.

  • Threat appraisal highlights the negatives of a specific situation, emphasizing the threat of failure due to the inability to overcome obstacles.

  • Threat appraisals prompt

    • pessimistic emotions,

    • ineffective problem-solving strategies, and

    • subpar performance.


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COPING RESOURCES

  • Coping strategies are the actual cognitive and behavioral techniques that athletes employ to deal with problems and to improve emotional well-being.

  • Two major categories of coping strategies have been identified:

    • problem-solving and

    • emotion-management.


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PROBLEM-SOLVING

  • Cognitive and behavioral strategies that focus on changing the source of stress and encompass a host of strategies such as

    • self-monitoring

    • planning,

    • reducing competing activities,

    • increasing effort,

    • informational social support,

    • self talk, and

    • active coping.


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EMOTION-MANAGEMENT

  • Cognitive and behavioral techniques designed to decrease emotional distress, even if the source of threat remains unchanged, boosting morale through . . .

    • emotional social support,

    • relaxation,

    • reappraisal and positive thinking,

    • wishful thinking,

    • self blame and isolation, and

    • mental and behavioral withdrawal.


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POSITIVE APPRAISAL EMOTIONS

  • self-confidence – a positive belief or expectation of success

  • excitement/readiness – physical activation of the autonomic nervous system that is interpreted as effective physical preparation.


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NEGATIVE APPRAISAL EMOTIONS

  • cognitive anxiety – a negative belief or expectation of success or worrying about the negative consequences of failure.

  • somatic anxiety – physiological and affective component of anxiety that develops directly from activation of the autonomic nervous system that is interpreted negatively.


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Model of Competitive Emotions

Facilitative

  • excitement

  • readiness

  • self-confidence

Physical

Mental

  • somatic anxiety

  • cognitive anxiety

Debilitative


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WHAT IS STRESS MANAGEMENT?

  • Stress Management – is a process designed to reduce or eliminate the negative consequences of stress, particularly mental and physical anxiety, in order to help performers feel better emotionally and perform up to their capabilities.


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PROBLEM-SOLVING STRATEGIES

  • competitive engineering

  • personal engineering

  • problem-solving and

  • mental plans


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COMPETITIVE ENGINEERING

  • reducing unnecessary uncertainty

  • removing excessive importance – don’t overemphasize winning


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PERSONAL ENGINEERING

  • increasing personal control – focus on process goals

  • enhance performance capabilities (e.g., conditioning, skills & strategies)


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DEVELOP PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS

  • use personal science approach

  • break situations down into parts, and

  • constantly critique problem-solving efforts.


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CONSTRUCT MENTAL PLANS

  • systematic approach to handling frequently-encountered problem situations,

  • “game plan” for dealing with problems,

  • Mental Plans deal with problems before, during and after practice and competition.


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EMOTION MANAGEMENT MODEL

  • arousal-triggered stress and

  • thought-triggered stress.


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TOTAL EMOTION MANAGEMENT PACKAGES

  • rapid relaxation is combined with self talk using a systematic process to develop an “integrated coping response.”


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TOTAL EMOTION MANAGEMENT PACKAGES

  • Stress Management Training (SMT) and

  • Stress Inoculation Training (SIT)


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TOTAL EMOTION MANAGEMENT PACKAGES

  • Common rationale – combination of relaxation and self talk copes with all types of stress,

  • Systematic approach – chunks situations into parts, sets process goals, helps to create Flow mindset, and provides a backup plan to deal with problems.

  • Automate component skills

  • Develops an Integrated Coping Response (ICR)


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TEMPs PRACTICE STRATEGIES

  • Total Immersion – practices managing maximum stress.

  • Gradual Exposure -- rehearses handling gradually increasing stress levels



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