Competition can be a daunting prospect for any athlete, but especially for those competing at a high level. Northern California athletes face the same pressures as any other athlete, but they must also contend with the added pressure of competing in a highly competitive environment. Zamani and Moradi found that competitive anxiety was higher in individual sports than in team sports, and even higher in individual combat sports compared to individual non-combat sports. Sports psychology has identified one of the main issues that can affect an athlete's performance, especially in championships, as the level of anxiety before competing and its effect on their mood and physical abilities. Leah Howard, MEd, NCC, APC, has experience working with young and adolescent athletes both as a school counselor and in college athletics.
She believes that participating in sports in high school can have a positive impact on an athlete's mental health. Howard also suggests that coaches should support athletes by giving them an opportunity to understand acceptable defeat, which could reduce anxiety and improve performance. He has first-hand experience of competing at a high level, having played Division I lacrosse in college. However, college athletes are at risk of injury which can jeopardize their scholarships or cause long-term health problems. These limits have been under pressure recently, leading to two major changes this summer. Studies have shown that there is a significant relationship between the anxiety of coaches and athletes, as well as between the anxiety of coaches and the performance of athletes. It is well known that psychological factors such as personality traits, competitive anxiety and coping strategies can influence an athlete's performance and function in competitive sports.
Zamani and Moradi compared the state and trait of anxiety and self-confidence of male athletes and found that individual sports athletes had more anxiety and less self-confidence than team sports athletes. In order for athletes to continue performing successfully, coaches must be aware of their physical and mental needs, motivations and characteristics. However, since the age difference between the athletes studied was only three years at most, with similar physical and mental growth conditions, these results cannot be definitive or valuable. If a game is very important for coaches and athletes, they may feel less capable than their opponents or have an unrealistic fear of facing them. This can increase their anxiety levels which will have a negative impact on their memory and ultimately decrease their performance.