Applying Emotion Theory in Coaching Athletes: Play an Effective Affective Game

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on the theoretical underpinnings and associated practical applications of the individual zones of optimal functioning (IZOF) model. This model can help coaches simplify the way they teach athletes to use enhancing emotions, elude impairing emotions, sustain an optimal range of emotional functioning, and achieve elevated performance. The article begins by clearly defining the term emotion (within the context of athletic competition) and introducing the fascinating interplay between emotions and athletic performance. It then provides a brief overview of the IZOF model and the framework upon which it is based. The article concludes by offering some preventive and coping strategies coaches can apply to help athletes control their range of emotions, maximize their performance and more successfully address the emotion-performance equation, particularly in youth sport settings. Emotions are part-and-parcel of the performance process, so a firm grasp of emotion theory and the specific practical applications of the IZOF model can help coaches to play an effective affective game and help athletes perform at their very best, especially when it matters the most.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Education


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