Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and components of competitive state anxiety among South African female field-hockey players

  • Nicola Tinkler
  • Ankebé Kruger
  • Julius Jooste
Keywords: Emotions; Hockey; Psychological demands; Self-confidence; Sports performance


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. 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, age=21.57±3.65) was determined. The Emotional Intelligence Scale and the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 were applied 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 neutral, while self-confidence levels were 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 revealed with results from the simple linear regression analyses, confirming the significant influence emotional intelligence has on players’ competitive state anxiety experiences. Essentially, emotional intelligence intervention in aid of controlling cognitive anxiety and improving and maintaining self-confidence is advocated in coaching and sport psychology practice.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069