Friday, March 6, 2015

Student Athlete Stressors: Competition Stressors
Individual athletes may perceive stress different in athletic competition differently depending on such factors as prior experiences, age, sex, intelligence, and motivation.1 Coping with success or the lack of success is something that some student-athletes must come to face.
According to one study, one source of stress that tends to affect athletes on early in their career is the loss of “star status” that they had while they played in high school.2 Although most gifted student-athletes are not preoccupied with being in the limelight or falling from grace, they are mindful that failure to maintain a consistency high caliber of play could trigger feelings of self-doubt and self-criticism, and they could feel that they will be abandoned by those who used to hold them in such high esteem.4 An example of these is a collegiate volleyball player saying “I missed a big serve this past weekend, and it threw me on this mental detour… I hope there is no problem with my serving.”3
In the case of especially talented student-athletes, their success pressures result from feeling that they have to “maintain” the top performance levels and standards of excellence that they, as well as their teammates, coaches, home communities, and media have come to expect. For student-athletes whose talents are average, their worries and concerns about athletic success result from their feeling a need to obtain or achieve a level of success in their sport that has eluded them thus far.4 The main concern when it comes to athletes who are average talent wise is that they do not know whether they will be given an opportunity by the coach to prove themselves and contribute to the team.


  1. Kroll, W. (1982). Competitive Athletic Stress Factors in Athletes and Coaches. Stress Management for Sport (pp. 1-10). Reston, VA: AAHPERD.

  1. Beauchemin, J. (2014). College Student-Athlete Wellness: An Integrative Model. College Student Journal, 48(2), 268-280. Retrieved October 21, 2014, from the EBSCO database.

  1. Holt, Nicholas, Kylie-Joy Berg, and Katherine Tamminen. "Tales of the Unexpected: Coping Among Female Collegiate Volleyball Players." Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 78.2 (2007): 117-32. Print.

  1. Parham, W. (1993). The Intercollegiate Athlete: A 1990's Profile. The Counseling Psychologist, 21(3), 411-429. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from the SAGE database.


  1. I agree, stress is something that can make or break an athlete. Some athletes can thrive off the pressure of having important roles on a team and push themselves to live up to these standards and make themselves better. On the other hand, sometimes it is just too much on an athlete and it forces them to crack. Athletes coming out of high school especially star athletes have a tremendous amount of pressure to be able to live up their name while getting set back a step or two by the older athletes. Stress is something that must be managed by athletes and coaches.

  2. Stress really can affect your day to day activities as an athlete. Thats a good point though about coming out of high school, its a lot more to handle at a younger age, its something that you just have to deal with and I've seen first hand, athletes that can't handle it that just can't make it and quit.