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GCSE Revision - Factors Affecting Performance

As well as all of the factors we have already reviewed, such as drugs, diet, age, somatotype and personality, other factors can affect performance such as physical factors, psychological, or external factors.

Physical Factors

These are medical and illness related factors:

  • Colds and flu - cause a shortness of breath and feelings of fatigue
  • Asthma - affects breathing if not properly controlled
  • Anaemia - usually due to a lack of iron which is important in oxygen carrying due to haemoglobin within the red blood cells
  • Hayfever - causes your nose to run and makes you sneeze and cough, affecting your breathing
  • Fatigue - not having enough rest or overdoing things can cause you to feel permanently tired
  • Lack of sleep - not enough sleep means you can't concentrate properly and feel weak and tired
  • Menstruation - women perform better at different stages of their menstrual cycle
  • Physical ability - your training, fitness and skill levels will all impact on your performance

Psychological Factors

These are factors related to the way you are thinking and your state of mind

  • Mental preparation - relaxation techniques and imagery can help prepare the athlete for competition
  • Mental ability - your ability to concentrate and make good decisions
  • Experience - a more experienced competitor will know how to prepare themselves mentally

External Factors

These are things largely beyond our control:

  • Environment - the weather can affect your performance either positively or negatively. For example a good wind will improve a sailors performance but may impair a tennis players performance
  • Equipment - better equipment will help your performance, but even then sometimes equipment can go wrong!
  • Technology - the use of technology in sport is increasing with the use of better equipment and video and computer technology for technique analysis
  • Other players - an opponents or team mates performance can have an affect on our own. For example a team mate performing well may inspire us to do the same
  • Officials - a poor decision from an umpire or referee can either spur us on to perform better or make us think there is no point trying.

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