1st Edition

Managing Performance Stress Models and Methods

By David Pargman Copyright 2006

    Over the past 16 years, new theories and models have emerged in the stress and anxiety knowledge base regarding the unique forms associated with performance. Existing theories have been applied in creative and helpful ways to better explicate relationships between stress and anxiety with performance. Recently, more sophisticated statistical strategies have been applied to data collected with performers, and additional, safe and expedient strategies for managing stress and anxiety have surfaced. Despite these new advances, the field has been lacking an up-to-date and practical text for undergraduate and graduate students in performing or performance-mentoring programs.

    Managing Performance Stress examines psychological and psychophysiological models and theories that explain causes of anxiety and stress. An easy-to-use reference work for athletes, musicians, dancers and actors as well as those who devise and conduct their training programs, the book presents exercises, coaching devices, and strategies for conquering stress and anxiety. It is an invaluable resource for those who are performers, will be performers, or who are preparing to mentor, coach or teach performers. The principles enunciated in Managing Performance Stress apply equally to the musician holding an oboe and the athlete holding a baseball bat. The issues explored and the theories, principles, models, hypotheses discussed all bear upon and clarify arousal, stress and anxiety related to artistic and sport performance, irrespective of its kind.

    Preface. Acknowledgments. What is Stress? Signs of Stress: Different Perspectives. Sources of Stress. What is Performance? Skilled Behavior. Assessment and Evaluation of Performance. Performance and Self-perceptions. Stress as an Inhibitor or Enhancer of Performance. The Assessment of Stress Reactions. Cognition and Cognitive Style. Cognitive Stress Management Techniques: Planning and Understanding Cognitive Strategies. Relaxation Techniques. Biofeedback Training, Chemical Interventions, and Nutritional Considerations. Exercise. Epilogue. References.


    David Pargman, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology at Florida State University. Prior to his thirty-one years of service at FSU, he taught on the faculty at Boston University and the City College of New York. Dr. Pargman is a member of the American Psychological Association, International Association of Applied Psychology, the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, and a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology and the American College of Sports Medicine. He is also a Certified Sport Psychology Consultant, the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. Dr. Pargman has taught, advised, or counseled hundreds of individuals in various performance domains.

    "Dr. Pargman is a pioneering writer in the field of arousal and performance in sports. He provides a wonderful overview of this field and helpful interventions which can help performers and their coaches and mentors get the most out of their talents." - Ian Tofler, MD, Chair of the Sport Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry