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.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|