Stress related changes during TeamGym competition

Roberta DE Pero, Giuseppe Cibelli, Cristina Cortis, Paola Sbriccoli, Laura Capranica, Maria F Piacentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to investigate the stress-related changes of a TeamGym competition considering both physiological (i.e. salivary cortisol [sC] and alpha-amylase [sAA]) and psychological (i.e. state anxiety) responses in relation to exercise intensity and competition outcomes.

METHODS: Eleven (5 males and 6 females) elite TeamGym athletes (age: 21-28 yrs) were administered the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory before an official international TeamGym competition. sAA and sC samples were collected 15 minutes prior to competition, after each apparatus, 10-min and 30-min after competition. Exercise intensity was estimated by heart rate (HR) recording and performance was evaluated by three international judges. All these parameters were correlated with competition outcomes.

RESULTS: TeamGym competition posed a low exercise load (most of exercise was performed below 85% of the individual HRmax). Significant increases (P<0.004) in sAA (3.53 fold induction) and state anxiety (P=0.045) were observed, with respect to baseline values. Conversely, sC remained stable throughout the competition. Significant (P=0.029) correlation between sAA, state anxiety and competition outcomes emerged.

CONCLUSIONS: Present findings provide the first evidence that the psycho-physiological stress response prior to and during competition can affect performance outcome, especially in a technical sport such as TeamGym.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-647
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Volume56
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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