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PhD. DISSERTATION THESES THE EXAMINATION OF THE CONNECTION BETWEEN RUNNER ATHLETES RACE DISTRESS AND RACE PEFORMANCE Hajduné László Zita Veszprém, 2009 THE EXAMINATION OF THE CONNECTION BETWEEN RUNNER ATHLETES RACE DISTRESS AND RACE PERFORMANCE PhD. dissertation Hajduné László Zita Supervisor:. Miklós Vass Dr. habil Was made within the frames of the doctoral subprogram called The Pedagogy of Pedagogue Training at the Doctoral School of Linguistics 2 CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION 2. JUSTIFICATION OF TOPIC SELECTION 3. PROFESSIONAL LITERATURE SYNOPSIS 4. RESEARCH DESCRIPTION Hypothesis Raising questions Material and method Sample selection Data survey Data analysis Measuring psycho vegetative functions Measuring psychological characteristics Sports professionals views on easing and treating race distress 5. PRESENTING RESULTS The results of the psycho vegetative examination The results of the psychological examination The sports professionals views on the treatment of race tension Written questioning Oral questioning 6. SUMMARY 7. TABLE / LIST FO PUBLICATIONS 3 1. INTRODUCTION The majority of present and past researches dealing with race distress puts the emphasis on elucidating distress and its root cause from psychological and pedagogical aspects, furthermore on easing and possibly stopping it. Sports professionals set the raising of race performance needed for success as their top priority. At the same time, recognizing the positive personality traits and also enforcing them must not be inhibited in order to improve results. The characteristics being established this way positively help influencing distress before a race, and by this also race performance. The cognition of racers psychic attributes, the establishment of psychic phenomena caused by sports and racing and the utilization of their performance-raising effect, methods producing the mobilization of psychic reserves, the knowledge and revelation of the mutual emergence of sport specifications and general regularities are all indispensable for achieving high sports performances. The evidence available in the professional literature obviously supports that the tension coming into existence during the preparation for high-level sports performances are situation-specific. 2. JUSTIFICATION OF TOPIC SELECTION We see the actuality of our topic in the fact that athletics, like all sports have gone through serious developments in previous decades. The standard of technical implementation has developed, however, the importance of mental preparation in order to reach outstanding achievements should not be ignored, either. Sports psychologists also contribute to the successful work of coaches and contestants. They can provide significant assistance in today s preparation procedures for contestants both in individual sports and team sports. Someone occupying with athletics has to spend much time on the athletics field, no matter whether they are coaches or contestants. Teaching and acquiring the techniques demands careful preparation and a lot of practice. Despite the carefully organized and planned, well-implemented preparation work, expected results may not always be delivered. This is when the situation draws up known by all coaches that preparation itself was efficient but the race was not successful because of something the cause of this might be excessive tension. As we see it, this is a question being raised by every coach and physical education teacher who is active in school racing sports. Nowadays more and more coaches and contestants are engaged in the significant attributes of psychic characteristics and the emergence of abilities. Racers have to be aware of their best condition, and they need to feel whether they are really prepared for the race or possibly they are not in practice. They sometimes have to judge themselves as their main critic /Unestahl, 1983/. Martens (1977) raised questions about the impact on sports performances from / of tension-dependent cognitive processes: What is the reason why the racer becomes nervous? Why can a racer rise to the occasion at important races and why others collapse under big pressure? What is there in the mind that is crucial for triumph and why are racing sports exciting? 4 3. PROFESSIONAL LITERATURE SYNOPSIS The phenomenon of distress has inspired more psychologists to contemplate on the existence of the concept and on the versatility of its nature. The word itself (anxietas) derives from the Latin word anxius and its use can be traced back to The Latin concept refers to a troubled, worrying mental state. The base of anxius anx derives from another Latin word (angere): it means to suffocate or to strangle. The word anxius supposedly referred to the tense feeling often experienced by distressed individuals (Levis, 1970, in. Aaron; Gary, 1999). Distress as a scientific concept can be restricted in the different areas of psychology. In the late 1940 s and in the early 1950 s Sarason dealt with the problem of forecasts based on psychological tests in the area of educational psychology (1950). Since the introduction of the concept of distress by Sarason, it has most often been defined within the frame of the theory that applies to the connection between distress as well as human accomplishment and study quality. The historical review drafted by Spielberger (1971) reminds us to those early results that show how the reserves of the organism are mobilized by the changes being created when there is an emotional stimulus in order to get out of a difficult situation. Distress has appeared in the title of an international journal ( Anxiety Research: An International Journal ), which has been dedicated to the research of distress 1. For the sake of the combination of researches Charles D. Spielberger initiated establishing STAR 2 in 1980, in Antwerp. In 1990, at the Berlin conference of STAR there was a separate section dealing with the topic of distress and sports. Martens and his team of researchers described race distress on the basis of their research from 1969 to 1984, as a psychic phenomenon relating to racing. The observation revealed that in a race situation a racer whose distress level was higher had a higher-level anxiety before the race than those whose distress level was lower. The first development of the general theory of stress can be tied to the name of János Selye (1964) of Hungarian origin living in Canada. According to Selye s definition (1964), stress is a hormonal origin physiological ability that provides the continuous adaptation of the organism, its protection against external-internal harms. 1 The Official Publication of the Society and Anxiety Research (STAR). 5 4. THE OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH The objective of the research is to give a picture of elucidating and treating distress in athletics sport that is primarily based on physiological mechanisms, however it cannot miss the knowledge of psychological and pedagogical processes either. The research approaches the topic from three major directions: A./ Its objective is to reveal the attributes of race distress, to get acquainted with the race distress attributes of short, medium and long-distance runner athletes. B./ Its objective is to establish the connection between race distresses in the degrees of cognitive distress, somatic distress as well as the self-confidence connected to race performance. C./ A further objective is to collect the existing pedagogical and educational tools and methods in the field of sports that may result positive personality development in respect of treating distress. The subject of the research is easing and treating race distress. The topic is important since an athlete often gets into race situations during their career where that certain race situation creates the condition of distress Hypothesis We supposed that: the level of race distress can be established at the examination of male and female short, medium and long-distance runner athletes the start condition of runner athletes at the examination of the whole sample during the examination of the age-groups shows a significant difference regarding the distress before a race; the start condition of runner athletes at the examination of the whole sample shows a significant difference depending on the length of the race distance and relating to the level of distress before a race the Martens CSAI-2 race distress scale the cognitive distress connected to racing (CSAI-2/cog.), the bodily symptoms of distress before a race (CSAI-2/som.) as well as the level of self-confidence connected to results (CSAI-2/ self-conf.) are not identical when comparing age-groups; the rates of CSAI-2 race distress scale are different depending on the length of race distance; at the comprehensive sample examination of the components of Marten CSAI-2 race distress scale, in the case of the short, medium and long-distance athletes as well as the rates of momentary race distress level of Sanderson s before race (PRQ 1 ) and after race (PRQ 2 ) there is a significant difference; the before race (PRQ 1 ) and after race (PRQ 2 ) momentary distress rates of runner athletes are influenced by the length of the race distance; during the age-group examination the before race (PRQ 1 ) and after race (PRQ 2 ) momentary distress level of runner athletes shows a falling tendency ; 6 an association stochastic connection can be discovered between the gender of runner athletes and the length of the race distance (short-distance, medium-distance, long-distance); in resolving and treating race distress, the gradation of problematic sportsman types are measurable; during their work, sports professionals apply the pedagogical and psychological tools, impacts in order to increase performance in resolving and treating race distress Raising questions Our questions were being raised along with more subordinate questions which are listed below: At the evaluation of the complete sample, to what extent do cognitive distress, somatic distress and confidence concerning race performance in Martens race distress scale (CSAI-2) influence the level of race distress in relation to the delivered results? Is runner athletes before and after race momentary distress level demonstrable on the basis of Sanderson (PRQ 1, PRQ 2 ) index? In the distribution of age groups, does before and after-race momentary distress level show any significantly different rates? Can it be proved that depending on the length of the track event (short, medium or long-distance running) the before-race momentary distress level is not equal? Does the standard of the race (city, county, national or international championship) determine the before-race distress level? To what extent do the different circumstances (as being an outdoor sport) influence the before-race distress level? Based on sports professionals opinions during an observation of problematic sportsman types what sports educational consequences can be taken into account at improving personality traits and further trainings? Material and method Sample selection Our research was carried out relating to the complete sample that meant 98 persons. According to the gender distribution our measurements were directed to 32 female and 66 male runner athletes. We chose the participants on the basis of an accidental sampling which means we often faced refusal for contribution so the scope of examinations could not be planned for the time being. According to the distribution of age groups the juvenile, junior, the supply and senior racers took part in the examination Data survey The data survey was carried out in the 2003 race season. The participants of the examination are runners from the persons and clubs from Veszprém City Supply Championship and the Budapest Junior and Supply National Championship in addition, the runner athletes from racing in the Senior National Championship organized in Debrecen. Apart from this we involved the male middle-distance runners from SIMEK money-prize memorial contest. 7 Data analysis 1.) The measurement of psycho vegetative functions in the research that gives a physiological background and examines the race distress in the circle of runner athletes. The POLAR TEAM SYSTEM TM PC compatible sphygmomanometer and analyzing system was used for measuring the psycho vegetative functions. It shows the intensity when training or racing, the exhaustion of the body. The Polar sphygmomanometer measures pulse number continuously and reliably, providing precise information for the coach about the racer s reactions to loading. 2.) For measuring psychological attributes we used a questionnaire containing closed questions, we applied written questioning. We implemented the measurements using the Martens CSAI-2 questionnaire /Competitiv State Anxiety Inventory/, and the Spielberger race distress measuring test - together with its reduced version the Sanderson (PRQ 1, PRQ 2 ) questionnaire. 3.) For the examination of the pedagogical respects of the research we collected data applying the method of questioning on the basis of presently active sports professionals opinions -, that was based on the direct analysis of pedagogical processes from the pint of view of pedagogical fact exhibition The primary database of the research was analyzed with descriptive and reasoning statistical methods, for which the Excel and SPSS program package (software supported) provided assistance. During the survey, at the independent grouping variants deriving from the data of the questionnaires, we tested the hypotheses with the help of connection examinations. 5. PRESENTING RESULTS The results of psycho vegetative examinations Our examination tended to determine race distress level. The rates of the start condition pulse numbers were obtained depending on the distribution of age groups and the length of the race distance. The obtained data manifest that during the explanation of the total results of variants analysis, the critical F-rate on 5% significance level (6.007) exceeds the rates set in the table (2.728) in respect of the age groups, while depending on the length of the race distance the critical F-rate on 5% significance level (54.174) exceeds the rates set in the table. Therefore it can be stated that according to the age groups and depending on the length of the race distance there are differences in the pulse numbers measured in the start condition. The development of race distress level can be traced back to the fact that the source of distress is in the direct environment. This may manifest primarily in the coach-racer nexus, in the given race situation, in the racers relationship to each other. In such cases the object of the distress might be the race situation itself: - do I come up to the coach s expectations? - am I going to perform successfully? - fear from other racers? - the level of the race. 8 5. 2. The results of psychological examination With analyzing race distress scales (CSAI-2) we examined the racers psychic state and we revealed the rate of momentary before-race (PRQ 1 ) and after-race (PRQ 2 ) distress level with our further results. On the basis of the examination of the correlation rates between the components in Martens (CSAI-2) race distress scale and Sanderson (PRQ 1, PRQ 2 ) momentary race distress correlation we obtained the following results: Between the rates of cognitive distress concerning racing (CSAI-2/cog), and the self-confidence connected to race results (CSAI-2/self-conf.) we found a negative middle-strength significant connection (-, 493*), which means the more racers self-confidence about race results increases, the more distress decreases. We found a negative weak significant connection (-, 254*), between the before-race somatic distress (CSAI-2/som.) and the after-race momentary distress (PRQ 2 ) that concludes that the momentary race distress after the race shows, though slowly but a falling tendency. There is a positive weak significant relation (, 222*) between the beforerace (PRQ 1 ) and after-race (PRQ 2 ) rates which justifies that a moderate after-race momentary distress still exists after finishing a race. This refers to the fact that racers who had signs of before-race distress have some afterrace distress even after the race Sports professionals vies on treating race distress Our examination extended to the frequency and manageability of problematic sportsmen types. Within the problematic types, the high number of racers of the excessively distressed type can be explained with the characteristics of the sport. From the point of view of frequency, professionals marked sportsman types of prone to injury, reserved as badly treatable sportsman types while from the most easily treatable sportsman types they marked the reserved, prone to injury and success fearing types. Professionals formed their opinions about the application of pedagogical-educational tools and psychological impacts facilitating the treatment of race distress. Motivation, the experience of failure, the treatment of being unsuccessful were first mentioned among the pedagogical-educational tools: furthermore the personal example of the coach and discussions aimed at education. While from the psychological impacts, real self-esteem, complying with requirements and bearing the load of having a chance were mentioned. The results of the examination give an overall picture of the application of pedagogical-educational methods and psychological impacts: they prove that one without the impact of the other would not be able to resolve and treat race distress. 6. SUMMARY, REFERENCES Our examination confirms that during the training of sportsmen the coach s pedagogical and psychological work is indispensable for achieving good results. It is mainly during trainings when sports professionals apply pedagogical-educational methods and psychological impacts for resolving and treating race distress which get into the foreground as a preventive method during the preparations for races. The evident consequence drawn from the results is that coaches and physical education teachers have to be aware of the racers attitude to race. What effect does a certain race situation have on the racer, and by this to what extent race distress exists that might be an influencing factor of the race? 9 Individuals in race sports are subject to rather intensive physiological and psychic impacts. This influences the development of their personality besides the increase of their physical ability to perform. Besides the working out of the physical, technical and tactical training programs sports professional have to consider racers mental (psychological) preparation whose aim is self-regulation in moving, as well as controlling thoughts and emotions that manifest in the behaviour of racers. For reducing before-race distress it is obviously the adequate preparation, the minimizing of insecurity factors, the solution for unexpected circumstances that have to be put in the foreground. Our examination points at the fact that distress can be caused by for example: a memory of an injury, the fame of the opponent, the stake of the race and the atmosphere of the venue. It can be stated that distress most often has a bad influence on performance, therefore appropriate treatment is necessary. In this, the coach s pedagogical work may help who has an important role in giving their sportsmen adequate training, good motivation, emotional balance, dedication. The optimal self-confidence (the competence of the racer) can really help the racer, however its lack may generate the feeling of insecurity and distress. According to professionals independence, optimal performance motivation, experience of racing, real level of demand can compensate the excessive distress. The rate of distress is decreased by the optimal preparation level suited to the racer s abilities, in contrast it is increased by incomplete preparation. This field co
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