The second issue of Athletic Insight - The Online Journal of Sport Psychology focuses on the relationship between anxiety and performance. The ability to cope with "nerves" in competitions is a factor that athletes at all levels must contend with if they are to succeed. All to many times we have seen players succumb to the pressure of performing in major competitions and "choke." Jean Van de Velde appeared to appeared to just this on the 72nd hole of the British Open. He scored a triple bogey on that hole which resulted in a playoff match with tow other players which he subsequently lost. All he needed to do was make a double bogey and he would have won the tournament. The poor decisions that he made and poor physical execution of physical abilities (which he clearly possessed) may have been the result of performance anxiety.
Previous studies have indicated that the majority of consultations with a sport psychologist have to do with coping with stress. Clearly this is a topic that is of concern to athletes at all levels. A great deal of research has been devoted to the relationship between anxiety and performance within the athletic context. The relevant literature is critically reviewed in this issue and suggestions for treatment and future research are included.
The first article in this issue examines the relationship between anxiety and performance from the predominant view in the field - cognitive-behavioral. In addition, there is an article on the relationship between anxiety and sports from the lesser used, but effective, psychoanalytic perspective. Abstracts and full length versions of the articles are presented with references.