The goal of this research was to test whether and to what extent mental toughness contribute to the explanation of state anxiety in athletes. This study relied on a multidimensional construct of anxiety which includes somatic and cognitive anxiety. Dimensions of anxiety were measured with “Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2” (cognitive and somatic anxiety), and mental toughness was measured with “Sports Mental Toughness Questionnaire”. The research sample consisted of 117 athletes, 67 men and 50 women, who have been actively engaged in various competitive sports. The structure of the sample by age was: 64 athletes are from 20 to 25 years old; 19 respondents aged 25 to 30; 31 athletes aged 30 to 35; and 4 respondents are over 35 years old. The results showed statistically significant correlations between dimensions and overall mental toughness on the one hand and cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety on the other. Multiple regression analysis was conducted with the aim of predicting the dimensions of anxiety based on mental toughness. Based on the dimensions of mental toughness, 25% of the variability of cognitive anxiety and 22% of somatic anxiety were explained. Self-confidence as a dimension of mental strength is a predictor of all dimensions of the state of anxiety. This study has indicated a great significance of developing athletes’ mental toughness with the goal of reducing anxiety and achieving better performance in competitions.
Keywords: mental toughness • cognitive anxiety • somatic anxiety • self-confidence • athletes.
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