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date: 07 August 2022

Arousal Control in Sport 

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology
Martin TurnerMartin Turner, Marc JonesMarc Jones

The following quote from ex–soccer player David Beckham, about taking a penalty in the 2002 World Cup, illustrates the strong physiological arousal observed in response to stress: “It was an important moment for me, the nation and the team … but I’ve never felt pressure like that in a game before. I just couldn’t breathe.” The fact that the stress of competitive sport performance manifests in physical symptoms is due to the interaction between how a person thinks and the workings of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Key elements of a person’s response to stress are changes in the ANS, which controls functions of the body that are geared to survival and connect with the involuntary muscles, such as lungs, stomach, and kidneys (... ...

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