We offer an examination of the processes athletes undertake following a sporting experience in order to learn how to interpret their anxiety-related symptoms as facilitative to performance. Six experienced, elite athletes were interviewed regarding the reflective practices adopted following both positive and negative critical incidents with a view to generating knowledge about their competitive anxiety symptoms. Composite sequence analysis procedures were employed to allow data to be considered as meaningful sequences for both the positive and negative incidents. Findings showed distinctions between the effects of positive and negative incidents on the reflective and learning processes and how this influenced the further appraisal of competitive anxiety symptoms. Support is provided for the use of reflective practice as a framework for experiential learning within sport.