Emotional awareness and regulation are often associated with improved performance in sports, which raises the question as to the role of emotional intelligence in athletes’ optimal performance states. This study determined the relationship between emotional intelligence and components of competitive state anxiety levels among a sample of senior-level South African female field-hockey players (n = 60, M age = 21.57, SD = 3.65). The Emotional Intelligence Scale and the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 were used to collect the data. Descriptive analyses revealed an above-average emotional intelligence and a low somatic/cognitive anxiety, with self-confidence being low to moderate, among players. Direction of cognitive and somatic anxiety was perceived as neutral, while self-confidence levels were perceived to be facilitative to performance. Pearson’s correlation analyses revealed positive associations between players’ management of their own and others’ emotions, and self-confidence as well as a negative association with cognitive anxiety. A positive association between total emotional intelligence and self-confidence was also revealed with results from the simple linear regression analyses confirming the significant influence emotional intelligence has on players’ competitive state anxiety experiences. Essentially, the utility of emotional intelligence intervention in aid of controlling cognitive anxiety and improving and maintaining self-confidence is advocated in coaching and sport psychology practice.
|Journal||South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Dec 2021|