• Question: How does an athletes emotion affect their physical performance?

    Asked by lratcliffe to Mark U on 2 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Mark Uphill

      Mark Uphill answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      Hi Iratcliffe,

      Many thanks for the question and apologies for taking a few days to get back to you – it’s been a busy period. If you think about the emotions you experience (e.g., anger, happiness, excitement) they comprise certain characteristics (although perhaps to varying degrees); first, a change in what we’re thinking about, second a change in physiological arousal, and third, a change in how we “feel”. Arguably, each of these components, either alone or in combination can influence our physical performance in sport. Interestingly, there is no widely accepted theory about how emotions broadly influence sport performance and the above comments rely largely on a collection of results across many studies.