The Role of Religious Faith in Sport-Related Anxiety Among Elite Athletes: An Exploratory Study
This study aimed to gain an understanding of the role of religious faith in dealing with sport-related anxiety among elite athletes. Seventeen elite athletes (10 males, 7 females, age range: 19 to 26 years old) with various sporting backgrounds voluntarily participated in the interviews. There were four religious affiliations involved in this study: Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism. Using a reflexive thematic analysis, two themes are developed: religious coping strategies (i.e., praying, God as the best helper, active submission to God’s will, stressors as God’s benevolence, religious social support, and religious items) and religious psychological effects (i.e., calmness, a sense of relief, self-confidence, motivation, positive thinking, a sense of security, and patience). The findings show that religious faith can play an important role in dealing with sporting anxiety by improving coping abilities and enhancing positive psychological effects among religious athletes.
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