Stress & Performance
Run by School of Human and Behavioural Sciences
10.000 Credits or 5.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Andrew Cooke
Overall aims and purpose
Why do some athletes excel during intense pressurised situations one day but fall by the wayside the next? How can you train athletes and other individuals (e.g., military, emergency services, or business) to survive and thrive in high-pressure situations? This course will provide practical and evidence based answers to these questions. If you are looking for a career in any performance related domain then having an understanding of the material covered on this course is a must. Through real athlete case studies that the delivery staff have been involved with, you will be taught to recognise why performance has broken down under pressure and more importantly, what you as a practitioner can do about it
The course is delivered by two sport and exercise psychophysiologists who have worked with elite level athletes, coaches, and applied practitioners. You will be taught the most up-to-date theories and applied interventions in the stress and performance literature.
Practical work in lectures will cover four main areas of stress and performance: Attentional Control e.g. why are we distracted by threat? Reinvestment e.g. why do we attempt to consciously control movements under pressure? Psychomotor Efficiency e.g. how do our brainwaves change under duress? Challenge and Threat perceptions e.g. what do our psychophysiological responses to stress mean, and how can we optimally control them?
D- to C+ Students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the underlying theories and models covered in the course work. They then must demonstrate that they can apply these theories surrounding stress and performance that can explain performance drops. They will then be able to demonstrate basic knowledge of applied interventions based on sound theoretical research to alleviate such negative effects and justify their use.
B- to B+ Students should be able to present a very good discussion of the underlying theories and models covered in the course work. They will demonstrate that they can apply these theories surrounding stress and performance to explain performance drops. In addition, they will demonstrate a good knowledge of applied interventions based on sound theoretical research to alleviate such negative effects and justify their use.
A- and above Students should be able to present an outstanding in-depth and critical discussion of the underlying theories and models covered in the course work. They will be able to use their deep understanding to demonstrate how theories surrounding stress and performance can explain performance drops. In addition, they will clearly demonstrate applied interventions based on sound theoretical research to alleviate such negative effects and justify their use. They will refer to the athletes situation throughout.
Critically analyse stress and performance research.
Describe the key theories used to explain the relationship between stress and motor performance
Construct theoretically driven interventions to help alleviate adverse effects of stress on performance.
Apply the contemporary stress and performance theory and research to explain performance slumps present in real-life athlete case studies
|COURSEWORK||Applied intervention essay||
Please read the case study below and then describe in detail an intervention that would help the athlete to recover from their poor run of performances. Your intervention essay should include the following three components:
A) Please explain the intervention in detail (i.e., what specifically would you as a performance psychologist encourage the athlete and coach to do). Assume that all the relevant parties implicated in the case study are keen to resolve the issue described and are thus willing for you to be involved as much as you deem necessary. B) Remember that your intervention needs to be tailored to the theoretical framework that you identified as explaining the situation depicted in the case study in your Essay 1. We are not asking you to describe the theory again, but you should refer to it throughout your intervention essay to show how your intervention will work in relation to the theory that you think is at the heart of the problem. C) Please also refer to published literature throughout – these could be experiments supporting the theory and intervention you are describing (e.g., some of the studies covered in the lectures) and/or they could be experiments supporting interventions that you have taken from other parts of the degree or your own independent reading. Whichever route you take, it is important to base your intervention on published research.
|ESSAY||Theoretical accounts of why the athlete has had a performance slump.||
Please read the case study below and then choose ONE of the theories we have covered in this module (i.e., reinvestment OR challenge and threat OR attentional control OR psychomotor efficiency) to focus upon in your essay. You should choose a theory that you think can apply to situation being described. Your essay should include the following three components:
A) Please describe your chosen theory in precise detail B) Please describe some of the key research studies that support your chosen theory C) Please justify how your chosen theory and the supporting research explain the situation depicted in the case study. For example, if you think that loss of attentional control explains the situation, you need to explain which specific parts of the case study led you to this conclusion, and you need to link those parts back to the theoretical predictions and key research findings.
These points may be addressed separately or as a whole. All sections have an equal proportion of marks.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
The student is expected to devote 80 hours to private study time. This will include doing module reading, previewing and revising lectures, and preparing and producing the assignments.
This course will be taught through a combination of lectures and workshops. Over the course of the semester we will cover key stress and performance theories and do formative work to link them to athlete case studies.
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- research and assess paradigms, theories, principles, concepts and factual information, and apply such skills in explaining and solving problems
- critically assess and evaluate data and evidence in the context of research methodologies and data sources
- plan, design, execute and communicate a sustained piece of independent intellectual work, which provides evidence of critical engagement with, and interpretation of, appropriate data
- apply knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems
- develop a sustained reasoned argument, perhaps challenging previously held assumptions
- demonstrate effective written and/or oral communication and presentation skills
- work effectively independently and with others
- take and demonstrate responsibility for their own learning and continuing personal and professional development
- self-appraise and reflect on practice
- develop transferable skills of relevance to careers outside of sport, health and exercise sciences.
- accurately interpret case study data
- develop justifiable and/or evidence-based interventions
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/jxh-3031.html
This is a sample from your reading list but please refer to module outline for weekly readings and the Talis link for a full reading list.
Blascovich, J., Seery, M. D., Mugridge, C. A., Norris, R. K. & Weisbuch, M. (2004). Predicting athletic performance from cardiovascular indexes of challenge and threat. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 683-688.
Eysenck, M.W., Derakshan, N., Santos, R., & Calvo, M.G. (2007). Anxiety and cognitive performance: attentional control theory. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 7, 336–353.
Masters, R. S. W., & Maxwell, J. P. (2008). The theory of reinvestment. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 1, 160-183.
Wegner, D.M., Ansfield, M.E., & Pilloff, D. (1998). The putt and the pendulum: Ironic effects of the mental control of action. Psychological Science, 9, 196–199.
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- CQ65: BA Cymraeg/Sports Science year 3 (BA/SPSW)
- C681: BSc Sport & Exercise Psychology w International Experience year 3 (BSC/SEPIE)
- C61F: BSc Sport & Exercise Science with Foundation Year year 3 (BSC/SESF)
- C680: BSc Sport and Exercise Psychology year 3 (BSC/SEXP)
- C600: BSC Sports Science year 3 (BSC/SPS)
- C60P: BSc Sport Science with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/SPSP)
- C604: BSc Sports Science (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/SSIE)
- C602: BSC Sport Science (ODA) year 3 (BSC/SSOA)
- C612: MSci Adventure Sport Science year 3 (MSCI/ASS)
- C607: MSci Sport Science year 3 (MSCI/SS)
- C613: MSci Sport Science with International Experience year 4 (MSCI/SSIE)
- C609: MSci Sport Science (Outdoor Activities) year 3 (MSCI/SSOA)
Optional in courses:
- R2C6: BA German and Sports Science year 4 (BA/GSPS)
- CR6H: BA Italian/Sports Science year 4 (BA/ITSSC)
- CR61: BA Sports Science/French year 4 (BA/SPSFR)
- CR62: BA Sports Science/German year 4 (BA/SPSG)
- CR6K: BA Spanish/Sports Science year 4 (BA/SPSSC)
- C61N: BSc Adventure Sport Sci with Business Man (Subj to Validn) year 3 (BSC/ASSBM)
- CB69: BSC Sport, Health & Exercise Sci. year 3 (BSC/SHES)
- C651: BSC Sport- Health & Physical Educ year 3 (BSC/SHPE)
- CB70: BSc Sport, Health & Exercise Science with International Exp year 4 (BSC/SHSIE)
- C615: BSc Sport Science (Outdoor Recreation) year 3 (BSC/SOAC)
- C603: BSc Sports Science - intercalated year 3 (BSC/SPSC)
- C6N1: BSc Sport Science & Business Management year 3 (BSC/SSB)
- C6N5: BSc Sport Science & Marketing year 3 (BSC/SSM)
- CN5P: Sport Science and Marketing with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/SSMP)
- C608: MSci Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences year 3 (MSCI/SHS)