Performance Related Emotional States in Sport: A Qualitative Analysis


  • Yuri L. Hanin KIHU-Research Institute for Olympic Sports



qualitative analysis, performance states, the IZOF model, individualized emotion profiling, metaphor-generation method, narratives


In this paper, I provide a brief overview of the sports-specific individualized approach (termed—the Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning [IZOF] model) as an action-oriented framework for qualitative analysis of performance related emotional states. First, I highlight the issue of multidimensionality and introduce five basic dimensions (penta-basis) to describe performance-related emotional states. These dimensions include form, content/quality, intensity, time, and context. Four major IZOF-based predictions of emotion-performance relationships focus on interindividual variability of optimal emotion intensity and content, the in-out of the zone notion, interactive effects of emotions enhancing and impairing performance, and bi-directionality of emotion-performance relationships. Then, I describe several projects that use different data collection techniques for assessment of idiosyncratic emotion content. These include interviews, individualized emotion profiling, metaphor-generation method, and narratives. Future research directions from individualized and discursive perspectives are suggested and implications for combining qualitative and quantitative approaches in the analysis of performance related states are discussed. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs030151


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Author Biography

Yuri L. Hanin, KIHU-Research Institute for Olympic Sports

Dr. Yuri L. HANIN ( is Professor & Senior Researcher at KIHU-Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Jyväskylä, Finland. He holds PhD and D.Sc. degrees in social psychology from St-Petersburg University (Russia). Dr. HANIN has been a university-level instructor, a researcher, and consultant in the area of sport and social psychology focusing on stress, anxiety, and performance related emotions, optimal performance, communication, leadership, change and change management. The author of four books as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles related to optimizing sports performance, Dr. HANIN has carried out extensive research, teaching, and consulting activities with national, international, and Olympic teams, athletes, and coaches in Russia (1967-1988) and Finland (1991-2003). His Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning (IZOF) model has stimulated a renewed and worldwide interest in the role of emotions in athletic performance. He has been an invited speaker at congresses and conferences throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Dr. HANIN has served as an associate editor and editorial board member of several sport psychology and sport science journals. He is currently a FEPSAC Newsletter editor and the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) Newsletter editor (Division 12 – Sport Psychology). In recognition of outstanding sport psychology scholarship, Dr. HANIN received the 1999 Distinguished International Scholar Award from the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) and the 1998 Visiting Scholar Award from the Australian College of Sport Psychologists. Currently Dr. HANIN is a president-elect (2002-2006) of the Division 12 (Sport Psychology) of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP).




How to Cite

Hanin, Y. L. (2003). Performance Related Emotional States in Sport: A Qualitative Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(1).