Vasilios Thanopoulos, Theodoros Platanou

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The psycho-physiological approach of competitive anxiety may be able to explain the role of competitive anxiety, concerning the fact that people have different reactions in environmental incentives and experiencing competitive anxiety. The aim of this study is to examine differences in intensity of factors of the competitive anxiety state in swimmers and water polo players as well as to make a comparison based on gender - male and female - and age. In this research, 692 male (n=327) and female (n=365) athletes participated, aged 13-19 of which 316 were swimmers and 376 were water polo players. The athletes, after 30–45 minutes of warm up and before each event, filled in the adjusted Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-CSAI. The statistical program SPSS 16 was used for the statistical analysis. Statistically significant differences were found between the two genders in all of the three factors of pre-competitive anxiety. The females had higher levels of cognitive and somatic anxiety and the males had higher levels of self-confidence. Concerning age, a higher level of cognitive anxiety was observed in the group of 13-15 year-olds and a higher level of self-confidence in the age group of 16-19 year -olds, but as far as the type of sport is concerned, water polo players had higher cognitive anxiety against swimmers and no differences were found in somatic anxiety and self-confidence. Future research should consider other factors such as intension, which could contribute to the configuration of pre - competitive anxiety.


sport psychology, questionnaire, teenagers, water sports

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