Factors Impacting on Performance

Answer tip: when writing your answers for factors impacting on performance, you want to gain some real depth so consider the impact it initially had on you before considering the impact it then had on the game. The impact on the game could be an impact on a teammate, the opposition or the play within the game.

Answer examples KEY:
Statement of sub-factor, situation and whether positive or negative
Impact on me/performer
Impact on game/teammate/opposition

Emotional factors relate to a wide range of different feelings a performer may have before and/or during their performance. These emotions can be positive or negative but the negative ones can be controlled.

ANGER: an emotion that a performer may feel when frustrated, offended or wronged. Feelings of anger can be very strong and can have negative impacts on one’s ability to concentrate and make correct decisions. However, if anger is controlled, it can be used to boost determination and motivation as well as execute some skills like tackling effectively.

Positive example: ‘Being able to control my anger positively impacted my performance when I was being told by my coach that I was not good enough at football. This lead to me channeling my anger towards proving him wrong. As a result, I became more motivated and determined and gave everything I had to fulfill my role and responsibilities on the pitch. This lead to me forcing my opponent into lots of mistakes as I worked really hard to put them under pressure whenever they got the ball.’

Negative example: ‘Not controlling my anger negatively impacted my performance in basketball when the referee wrongly called for a foul against me. This lead to me shouting and swearing at the referee and getting a warning. As I was still angry, I started to lose concentration as I could not get my frustration out my system. This lead to me switching off when man marking and my opponent got away from me to receive a pass and have time to score.’


FEAR: an emotion brought on by feeling nervous about potentially making an error. Cognitive fears can directly impact upon confidence whilst somatic fears will impact on the physiological components of the body.

Positive example: ‘Controlling my fear can allow me to block out negative thoughts and think positively about my upcoming match. This can lead to me feeling confident which can help me be creative and unpredictable in the opening moments of matches. This can lead to my opponent not being able to anticipate my next move and me getting past them time and again.'

Negative example: ‘Not being able to control my fears can lead to me tensing up in crucial situations such as when putting for the championship in golf. As I get more fearful, my muscles tense up and my movements become rigid. Thus, my putting action is not smooth and I miss the putt because I lose accuracy.’


HAPPINESS/SADNESS: a reflection of how optimistic or negative a performer is feeling. Someone who is happy will be high in confidence and can make decisions with conviction whilst those who are sad will be low on confidence and lose focus as they are distracted by negative feelings.

Positive example: ‘Feeling can positively impact my performance as I will feel optimistic about my upcoming match. In tennis, being happy will help me make decisions and carry them out with conviction. When serving, I may decide to change my tactic and serve wide. Due to being confident, I will follow this action through with purpose. This can then lead to my opponent being caught off guard and me winning the point.’

Negative example: ‘Feeling sad can negatively impact my performance as I will be consumed by negative feelings. This can lead to me losing concentration as I cannot block out negative thoughts and I will start to make basic errors when executing skills as I cannot focus on their sub-routines. This can then result in me giving away easy passes to the opposition and my team being caught on the fast break.'


SURPRISE: a brief emotional reaction to something that has shocked you. The impact surprise has is largely dependent on the mindset of the performer and can have further implications for concentration, confidence, motivation and resilience levels.

Positive example: ‘A performer with a positive mindset can overcome feelings of surprise and continue to perform well. In tennis, a player who has just lost a point as a result of their opponents shot clipping the top of the net and dropping dead on their side will just be able to let the feeling of surprise go and move on. They will quickly be able to regain their focus and fully concentrate on the sub-routines of their serve to win the next point.’

Negative example: ‘A performer with a negative mindset will not be able to overcome feelings of surprise and may struggle to move on in their match. A goalkeeper in football who has just conceded a deflected goal may not be able to get over their shock at this and lose motivation as they see their performance being hindered by bad luck. As a result, they might stop fulfilling their roles and responsibilities and concede more goals as they see it as pointless.’