It is well documented that competition can affect performance and emotion in sport. However, our understanding of the comparative effects of individual and team competitions on performance and emotion is limited.
We also know little about emotion-based mechanisms underlying the effects of different types of competition on performance.
Researchers at the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences at Bangor University, Wales looked into this issue and have just published their findings in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Their study involved 64 participants completing a handgrip endurance task during time-trial, one-on-one, two-on-two and four-on-four competitions while self-report and possible corroborative physiological measures of enjoyment, anxiety and effort were assessed.
Results indicated that performance, enjoyment, anxiety and effort were greater in team competitions than in individual events.
Researchers also concluded that the observed increases in performance were also mediated by increased enjoyment and effort.