The effect of meditation on anxiety in sport

Muangnapoe, Pichit (1998) The effect of meditation on anxiety in sport. PhD thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


The present research examined the proposition that meditation is an effective technique that can manage both components of multidimensional competitive state anxiety, as well as state self-confidence in sport. According to writers in Buddhist meditation (Buddhathasa, 1990; Sekida, 1975; Vajiranana, 1975), the Buddhist techniques are claimed to relax the body and mind together. If that is the case, not only should somatic and cognitive state anxiety both be reduced, but also, state self-confidence should increase. According to Martens et al. (1990), cognitive anxiety and self-confidence are likely to be present in the absence of each other, that is, when cognitive state anxiety is absent or low, it is believed that state self-confidence should increase. The thesis also studied the effects of meditation on the perceived importance and perceived imcertainty of the situation, which according to the theory of competitive anxiety proposed by Martens et al., (1990), are important influences on state anxiety. Perceived importance and perceived uncertainty may be reduced by meditation because, according to many writers on Buddhist meditation (e.g., Buddhathasa, 1990; Vajiranana, 1975), the Buddhist technique affects the way one looks at the world. It tends to make the striving aspects seem less important and to allow the person to look at the world differently (Sekida, 1975). Through meditation, certain aspects that bias a person's perception of situation, resulting in greater imcertainty or importance about the situation than is warranted (e.g., great emphasis on the material aspects of life, making judgement of opponent's ability greater than it is) would be reduced. Thus, perception of the importance of sport competition would be moderated in the context of life as a whole, without necessarily leading to any reduction in motivation. Similarly, a different perspective on the world would lead to moderation of perceived uncertainty. The thesis, thus, aimed to elucidate both the matching hypothesis and the theory of competitive anxiety, while providing a test of the efficacy of meditation in elite sport.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Keywords Sports, anxiety, meditation
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