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Sports Psychology – Anxiety and Arousal

4. Manipulating Anxiety and Arousal

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In this lecture, we think about some of the applied strategies and techniques used to maintain, develop or reduce arousal and anxiety, focusing in particular on: (i) the role that attentional focus can have on arousal and anxiety levels and regulation; (ii) the presence of a pre-performance routine for athletes, to regulate arousal and anxiety levels by bringing control to their actions; (iii) relaxation, as a technique to reduce somatic/physiological anxiety, in order to improve performance; (iv) a real world example of implementing key messaging by Jordan Pickford, to focus him on particularly challenging elements of the Euro 2020 competition.


In this course, Dr Jamie Barker (Loughborough University) explores anxiety and arousal in sport and exercise. In the first lecture, we think about what anxiety and arousal are in the context of sport and exercise. In the second lecture, we think about some models of anxiety and arousal, including Yerkes and Dodson’s inverted-U hypothesis. In the third lecture, we think about catastrophe theory and the theory of challenge and threat states. Next, we think about some applied strategies which can be used to manage anxiety and arousal. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about how these concepts can be summarised.


Dr Jamie Barker is a senior lecturer in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University. Dr Barker’s research interests include intervention effectiveness, group dynamics, leadership and resilience within applied sport and performance research. Some of Dr Barker’s recent publications include 'Psychological support for sport coaches: An exploration of practitioner psychologist perspectives' (2018) and 'Investigating the effects of irrational and rational self-statements on motor-skill and hazard-perception performance' (2018).

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APA style

Barker, J. (2022, May 09). Sports Psychology – Anxiety and Arousal - Manipulating Anxiety and Arousal [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Barker, J. "Sports Psychology – Anxiety and Arousal – Manipulating Anxiety and Arousal." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 May 2022,

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