Cross-cultural comparison of sports anxiety among Indian and Polish sports players in a post-COVID world: a pilot study
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Background. There is a need for cross-cultural research on the relationship between competitive anxiety, BMI, and sports training frequency in athletes. Especially in a post-COVID-19 world, adverse changes associated with weight gain and increased sedentary lifestyles have been observed. Whether this trend occurs in athletes and how BMI and frequency of sports training affect anxiety levels in Polish and Indian athletes are the subjects of this study. Participants and procedure. One hundred athletes were successfully recruited in India (n = 50, gender-balanced), and in Poland (n = 50, genderbalanced). Their age ranged from 18 to 30 (Indian athletes: M = 23.65, SD = 2.75; Polish athletes: M = 23.50, SD = 3.27). The level of competitive anxiety was measured using the Sports Anxiety Scale-2. Respondents were asked about demographics along with weight, height, and frequency of training. A t-test was used to compare the total anxiety score, subscale scores, and BMI between the Indian and Polish samples. A two-factor ANOVA with repeated measures was administered to evaluate the interaction between Indian and Polish athletes’ trait anxiety and BMI. Moreover, the interaction between Indian and Polish athletes’ BMI and frequency of sports training was also tested. Results. The results showed that there was a significant difference between the anxiety levels of Indian and Polish athletes t(73.41) = –4.28, p < .001. The interaction between BMI and total anxiety score between Polish and Indian sports players was significant (p = .001). However, no statistically significant interaction was found between frequency of sports training and BMI. Conclusions The anxiety levels are higher due to higher BMI. These adverse changes in the behavioural area and their effects on physical health also concern young athletes. Further research is necessary to assess the late impact of the pandemic on the lives of athletes as these costs are accompanied by many others localized in the psychological sphere, which are only becoming apparent.
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