This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.
Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationships between mood states and competitive state anxiety and perceived performance in Asian male baseball players from universities in choking under pressure situations during a game. An additional aim was to identify the mediating effect of competitive state anxiety on such relationships. Methods: A questionnaire was administered to 209 male baseball players from universities who wanted to enter a professional league. The mean age of study subjects was 20.25 years. Structural equation modeling and bootstrapping analyses were used to test hypotheses and analyze the mediation effect. Results: First, among mood states, higher confusion and higher tension predicted higher competitive state anxiety. Second, mood states had no significant influence on perceived performance. Third, higher competitive state anxiety predicted lower perceived performance. Lastly, competitive state anxiety had a complete mediating effect on the relationship between mood states and perceived performance. Conclusions: To help athletes perform to the best of their ability, psychological interventions should be provided with a greater focus on reducing competitive state anxiety during a game. And we believe that an intervention program with a greater focus on competitive state anxiety can provide a more realistic and effective assistance scheme which will prevent a sudden decrement in performance.