Positive emotion in sport: current status and future directions

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79 Citations (Scopus)


Emotions have firmly established their place in sport psychology research over the past 40 years. For many decades following World War II, mainstream psychology researchers placed negative emotions (e.g., anxiety) ahead of positive emotions (e.g., happiness) but positive emotions are now a genuine, promising field of research because of their influence on specific components of performance (e.g., attention) and psychological well-being. The benefits of these emotions have hitherto not been wholly realized in a sport context, especially in their capacity to generate greater self-efficacy, motivation, attention, problem-solving, and coping with adversity. Although the sport emotion literature is sprinkled with studies that specifically examined positive emotion in sport settings, the breadth and depth of this research is too thin to make bold claims about the value of positive emotions in the emotion-performance relation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-69
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • sport psychology
  • positive emotion


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