2016, Volume 12, Issue 1

Mental skills in combat sports – review of methods anxiety evaluation

Elżbieta Piskorska1, Jan Mieszkowski2, Andrzej Kochanowicz3, Ewelina Wędrowska4, Bartłomiej Niespodziński2, Alina Borkowska5

1The Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pathobiochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University Collegium Medicum, Bydgoszcz, Poland, Poland
2Faculty of Physical Education, Health and Tourism, Institute of Physical Culture, Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Poland
3Faculty of Physical Education, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Gdańsk, Poland, Poland
4Department of Gene Therapy, Nicolaus Copernicus University Collegium Medicum, Poland
5Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, Nicolaus Copernicus University Collegium Medicum, Poland

Author for correspondence: Jan Mieszkowski; Faculty of Physical Education, Health and Tourism, Institute of Physical Culture, Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Poland; email: mieszkowskijan@ukw.edu.pl

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According to the accurate recognition of John Harasymowicz “fighting reveals different features of human nature, such as anxiety, aggression, vanity, pride, abilities, physical disposition, and knowledge as well as interdependence between these features”. In this article particular attention was paid to the phenomenon of anxiety, which arises in different circumstances and almost always has an impact on physical, mental and behavioral health of people, especially athletes. The consequences of its influence are still unknown. Understanding the way how emotions influence the course of sports rivalry is a key element for controlling weaknesses, particularly during a fight. Therefore, the aim of this study was to review the scientific literature concerning the anxiety phenomenon in combat sports, with particular emphasis on the most commonly used research tools in the psychological analysis of anxiety among  combat sports athletes, including the different varieties of this phenomenon.

For a detailed analysis were selected the current English and Polish-language original papers and reviews. They were retrieved mainly from electronic literature databases (Medline, PubMed, EBSCO) and from the available library resources. Analysis also taking into account comparisons between the intensity of anxiety according to different types of sports, gender, age, level of education, sports experience, number of injuries, as well as the difference between winners and losers. It also presents basic information about the impact of a coach, training methods and about selected relaxation techniques. On the other hand, it is shown that combat sports and martial arts can be regarded as a form of relaxation.

Key words: anxiety disorders, cognitive function, concentration, emotional intelligence, emotional reactivity, martial arts, psychological training, self-esteem, state of anxiety