Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Physical Education


Competing in athletics, by their very nature, subjects’ participants to many anxieties and stresses. Each person is an individual in the way he/she responds to certain stimuli and the responses are dependent upon social-background, personality, intelligence and emotional status. All of these factors intertwined dictate how an individual reacts to a variety of stimuli. Each competitor will differ in the degree of anxiety felt and the intensity may dictate how each will perform during competition. This one factor, anxiety, may explain why two individuals equal in skill level and physical ability perform so differently during competition in any given sport. It would seem that any coach would need to recognize these differences and seek to find an understanding of this factor. Certainly, the physical process is important, but it is not the only process and this is precisely why coaches and physical educators need to recognize and understand the psychological factors involved in performance. Vanek and Cratty state that an individual involved in gymnastics competition experiences a great deal of pre-task tension, due to the individual's feeling about the possibility of failure and to the inability of the performer to depend upon another individual in time of stress. Cratty states that a coach should certainly evaluate his athletes' performances and the characteristics of those performances but that he should also see how each of his athletes feel about sports participation, how they react to stresses of various kinds, and how they behave in situations other than those during competition. It is the hope of the writer that through the use of psychometric measurement and performance scores this study may aid the coach and the athlete in understanding how anxiety level may affect performance. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between pre-meet anxiety level and gymnastic meet performance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Gymnastics -- Psychological aspects.
Competition (Psychology)
College athletes.
Physical education for women.
Sports -- Psychological aspects.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University