Differences in sport competition anxiety of college softball coaches

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Lyons, Amy J.
Wittig, Arno F.
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Thesis (M.A.)
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The intent of this thesis was to study the anxiety levels of college softball coaches. Previous research suggests that high levels of anxiety interfere with optimal performance and consequently decrease chances of success. This study compared college softball coaches' sex and career winning percentage to their anxiety level. The hypotheses which were tested are:a)Coaches with career records in the upper quarter of all returned questionnaires will score lower in competitive trait anxiety than coaches with less successful records.b)Female coaches will score higher in competitive trait anxiety than male coaches.The instrument used to measure competitive trait anxiety was Martens (1977) Sports Competition Anxiety Test, which was disguised as the Illinois Competition Questionnaire. Through self-report, the sex and career records were obtained.Of the 224 questionnaires mailed, 146 (65%) were returned. Using plannedcomparisons and analysis of variance, no significant differences were found and both hypotheses rejected. Although not a main hypothesis, further investigation indicated that female coaches score significantly lower than the norm of females in the general population (a = 8.81, p < .0001). It was suggested that through the process of self selection, females with low sport competition anxiety choose the occupation of coaching rather than some alternate career.Recommendations for further study are to replicate this study using a different criterion to measure coaches' success rate; to use Division I coaches only; to sample various sports; to track anxiety using a longitudinal method.