Self-report measures of anxiety have dominated the research on anxiety-performance relationship.
However, a combination of psychological and physiological indices is thought to provide a more comprehensive understanding
of the experience of this psychological state. The purpose of the current study was twofold: First, to examine the
relationship among psychological and physiological measures of state anxiety, and secondary, to examine the way and extent
that different estimates of anxiety can predict swimming performance, and related psychological variables such as
perceived importance of competition and intention to apply effort.
The study’s sample consisted of 45 adolescent swimmers with a mean age of 13.8 years (SD = 2.31) participating
in the Winter Swimming Championship of Northern Greece. CSAI-2 was used to measure state anxiety, while systolic-
diastolic arterial pressure, heart rate, salivary cortisol, and plasma t-PA were selected as the physiological indices.
Furthermore, perceived importance of competition and intention to apply effort were used as psychological variables associated
with swimming performance. A two-way prospective design was used. The first measurement took place one
week prior the competition, in a resting day, and the second one the day of the competition.
The results indicated that the different anxiety indices were not correlated to each other. Salivary cortisol was a
significant predictor of swimming performance (R2 = .16 F(1,43) = 8.48, p < .01) but not linked to psychological variables
such as perceived importance of competition and intention to apply effort.
The findings of the present study support the multidimensional estimation of anxiety, in order to obtain a
more comprehensive understanding of the anxiety-performance relationship.