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the subjective data, garnered via interviews, revealed few differences with respect to the

way gymnasts prepare mentally for competition.

Hayashi (1998) examined anxiety levels and ways of coping in gymnasts in

order to determine why certain gymnasts continue to participate in their sport and others

do not. The results indicated an interaction between several variables and youth sport

participation. Specifically, gymnasts with higher anxiety and low abilities to cope with

adversity were more likely to discontinue training, while gymnasts with support from

family and friends were more likely to continue. This study also revealed that gymnasts

who perceived coaches as providing low amounts of non-reinforcement/ignoring

mistakes feedback, and who perceived coaches as providing high amounts of

punishment-oriented feedback, were more likely to discontinue gymnastics training.

Kerr and Pos (1994) demonstrated a difference in the psychological mood

experience between high level and low level competitive gymnasts in training as well as

competition settings. The training program for the higher level gymnasts was longer

and more serious-minded. The results indicated that the pre-performance arousal

discrepancy scores between competition and training were significantly different for the

lower level group, but not for the higher level group. The researchers concluded that

for the lower level gymnasts to perform better in competition, they would need to

decrease the arousal discrepancy between training and competition. It was also noted

that for the higher level gymnasts there was little difference in the effort between

competition and training, whereas a significant difference was noted for the lower level


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