THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EMOTIONS AND CONFIDENCE AMONG GREEK ATHLETES FROM DIFFERENT COMPETITIVE SPORTS
Emotional relationships are crucial for an accurate prediction and control of the impact of emotions on athletic performance. The Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning (IZOF) model attempts to describe and explain emotions related to individually successful and poor performances (Hanin, 1997, 2000). The participants were 617 Greek athletes (424 males and 190 females) from five different sports. Their ages ranged from 18 to 30 years (M=24.30, SD=3.70). All athletes completed the questionnaire on emotions (IZOF, Hanin, 2000), which was translated into Greek (Hanin, Papaioannou & Lukkarila, 2001). The aim of the study was the examination of a possible relationship between emotions and confidence and among different competitive sports in Greece. The results supported the good psychometric properties of the assessment tool. Additionally, the results indicated statistically significant differences among sports in almost all the questionnaire variables: (a) in optimal-pleasant emotions swimmers had higher scores than Graeco-Roman and freestyle wrestlers, (b) in optimal-unpleasant emotions swimmers had higher scores than taekwondoists and water polo players, and (c) in dysfunctional-unpleasant emotions swimmers had lower scores than taekwondoists and water polo players. On the other hand, in dysfunctional-pleasant emotions and in confidence no statistically significant differences among the sports were found. According to previous research, it is also important to indicate that emotional content and intensity are different in training practice and competitions and that they vary across the pre-, mid-, and post-event performance situations (Hanin & Stambulova, 2002). Possible future research might replicate and extend the study's findings, explore an athlete's anxiety, goal-orientations, motivation and performance, and develop effective intervention strategies.