Cognitive anxiety is best described as worry. For example, an athlete experiencing this form of anxiety prior to an event will fear that she will not be successful.
Somatic anxiety refers to physical manifestations of anxiety such as a nervous stomach and excessive sweating.
Multidimensional Anxiety Theory
In Athletic Insight: The Online Journal of Sports Psychology, University Of Central Lancashire researcher Ivan M. McNally explains that cognitive anxiety has a negative impact on performance. This finding lies at the heart of Multidimensional Anxiety Theory.
McNally cites previous research showing that somatic anxiety does not negatively affect performance unless it gets so bad that an athlete is preoccupied with his psychological state.
Professional golfer Greg Norman is said to have dealt with bouts of anxiety and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder throughout his career. This occurred after his performance at the 1997 Masters Golf Tournament.
Multidimensional Anxiety Theory posits that two types of anxiety, cognitive and somatic, impact performance differently. This theory is applied most often in the field of sports psychology.