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With reference to relevant theory and recent literature, critically discuss what is understood by the term ‘stress’ and the sources of stress experienced by those involved in sports?

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My essay question is this 'With reference to relevant theory and recent literature, critically discuss what is understood by the term ‘stress’ and the sources of stress experienced by those involved in sport.

However I am struggling with how to lay out this question- what to put in the introduction, main body paragraphs and conclusion.

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By PD Tutor
Best Answer

Stress in sport can refer to two distinct things.  It can refer to physical stress and is compared to recovery periods or it can refer to the emotional stressors experienced by athletes in various sports.  Because you referred to the sources of stress experienced by those involved in sport, we are proceeding under the assumption that you are referring to emotional stressors.  We are going to provide an outline to give you an idea of what we might include in the introduction, main body paragraphs, and conclusion of an essay about that topic.

Essay Outline:

I. Introduction

A. Sources of stress for athletes

B. Positive impacts of stress on athletes

C. Negative impacts of stress on athletes

D. Thesis Statement

II. Sources of stress for athletes

A. Pressure from team, coaches, etc. 

B. Pressure from fans

C. Need to succeed

1. Scholarships

2. Places on teams

D. Grades

E. Self-esteem

III. Positive impacts of stress on athletes

A. Motivation to practice

B. Increased alertness

C. Improve social functioning

IV. Negative impacts of stress on athletes

A. Choking

B. Negative impact on self-esteem

C. Team bullying 

V. Conclusion

A. Restate thesis statement

B. Negative impacts of stress on athletes

C. Positive impacts of stress on athletes

D. Sources of stress for athletes

E. Suggestions for studying stress and athletes

Suggested Resources:

Britton, D. M., Kavanagh, E. J., & Polman, R. C. (2019). A path analysis of adolescent athletes’ perceived stress reactivity, competition appraisals, emotions, coping, and performance satisfaction. Frontiers in psychology10, 1151.

Wayment, H. A., & Huffman, A. H. (2020). Psychosocial experiences of concussed collegiate athletes: the role of emotional support in the recovery process. Journal of American college health68(4), 438-443.

Simms, M., Arnold, R., Turner, J. E., & Hays, K. (2020). A repeated-measures examination of organizational stressors, perceived psychological and physical health, and perceived performance in semi-elite athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences, 1-14.

Sereda, B. J., Holt, N. L., & Mosewich, A. D. (2019). Unexpected, but not a surprise: How women varsity athletes high in self-compassion manage unexpected stressors surrounding competition. Journal of Exercise, Movement, and Sport (SCAPPS refereed abstracts repository)51(1), 158-158.

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