Keep Calm and Play On: The Effects of Grit, Mindfulness, and Goal Orientation on Sport Anxiety and Performance

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Achievement motivation theory suggests there are two primary approaches to achievement tasks: to appear competent or to develop a skill. These two different approaches to performance yield different affective and behavioral responses. Athletes holding a performance goal orientation tend to respond to challenges with behaviors exemplifying learned helplessness and increased anxiety. Athletes holding a mastery goal orientation tend to respond to challenges with greater effort and experience less sport-related anxiety. Individual athlete factors, such as grit, mindfulness, and achievement orientation may influence how athletes experience their environment and their levels of sport anxiety, and may interact with athletes' achievement motives ... continued below

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Auerbach, Alex August 2018.

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  • Auerbach, Alex

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Achievement motivation theory suggests there are two primary approaches to achievement tasks: to appear competent or to develop a skill. These two different approaches to performance yield different affective and behavioral responses. Athletes holding a performance goal orientation tend to respond to challenges with behaviors exemplifying learned helplessness and increased anxiety. Athletes holding a mastery goal orientation tend to respond to challenges with greater effort and experience less sport-related anxiety. Individual athlete factors, such as grit, mindfulness, and achievement orientation may influence how athletes experience their environment and their levels of sport anxiety, and may interact with athletes' achievement motives to influence performance. I used hierarchical multiple regressions to test the main effects of feedback and mindfulness, and feedback and goal orientation, to determine if either mindfulness or goal orientation moderated the effects of feedback on performance. I also used simple regression to determine the relative predictive strength of mindfulness, grit, and goal orientation on athletes' experience of sport anxiety. Mindfulness, but not goal orientation, was a significant moderator of the feedback-shooting performance relationship, but particularly for athletes low in mindfulness; mastery-goal orientation, independently of feedback, was also a significant predictor of task performance. Mindfulness also emerged as the strongest predictor of reduced sport anxiety. These results suggest that, for athletes low in mindfulness, mastery-involving feedback may be especially helpful. Further, mindfulness may also reduce athlete's sport-related concentration disruption, worry, and somatic anxiety.

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  • August 2018

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  • Sept. 26, 2018, 6:16 p.m.

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Auerbach, Alex. Keep Calm and Play On: The Effects of Grit, Mindfulness, and Goal Orientation on Sport Anxiety and Performance, dissertation, August 2018; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1248529/: accessed May 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .