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1- Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Research Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South-Africa , adele.broodryk@nwu.ac.za
2- Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Research Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South-Africa
Abstract:   (65 Views)
Background. Anxiety plays a major role when it comes to sports performance, not only mentally, but physically as well. Objectives. The study aimed to examine the effect of a soccer tournament on baseline anxiety [Spielberger State-trait anxiety inventory questionnaire (STAI), mood [Incredible Short POMS questionnaire (ISP)] and cortisol (saliva sampling) states. Methods. Eight sportswomen’s (age: 23.1 ± 3.2 y, playing experience: 10.6 ± 5.6 y) data were collected an hour after waking, two weeks prior to, and each morning during, a five-day tournament. Results. Overall, a small relationship was seen between true cortisol values and presence of state-anxiety (r = 0.3, P = < 0.05). On mornings prior to a match lost, a significant relationship was seen between cortisol and the current- (r = 0.7, P = 0.005) and total trait-anxiety scores (r = 0.7, P = 0.008). Following multiple regression analysis, the TAI questionnaire demonstrated to be adequate to predict possible cortisol surges (r2 = 0.3, P = 0.04). Measuring the innate anxiety characteristic can be a positive measure to anticipate both psychological (presence of anxiety, r2 = 0.88, P = 0.001) and physiological (cortisol surges, r2 = 0.4, P = 0.008) stress. Conclusion. Therefore, an anxiety questionnaire might provide sensitive information regarding the unconscious physiological and psychological stress plausibly altering performance. It is recommended that a player’s state of anxiety (innate and current) be measured prior to a competition to adopt a strategy to overcome its negative consequences.
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APPLICABLE REMARKS
  • This study demonstrated the efficacy in implementing a psychological questionnaire aimed in determining the current and ongoing anxiety states, to predict plausible psycho-hormonal consequences on future sport performance. Measuring the innate anxiety states can provide valuable information on a player’s proneness for stress, not only at a psychological level, but also as seen with cortisol surges, which can have detrimental performance effects.
  • A few limitations were however identified. Testing a larger population would prove valuable, not only for excluding outliers from slanting the statistics, but also to determine dissimilarities between starters, non-starters, positions, and duration of play time (as found in previous research (25)) and more profound correlations between variables. Furthermore, analyzing testosterone together with cortisol and the psychological questionnaires will provide valuable insights into the psycho-hormonal relationships that take place.

Type of Study: Original Article | Subject: Exercise, Training and Health
Received: 2021/02/3 | Accepted: 2021/01/12

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