The authors examined the extent to which changes in testosterone concentrations before competition would be associated with performance among elite male hockey players. Saliva samples were collected on 2 noncompetition days (baseline) and before 2 playoff games (1 home game, 1 away game). Individual performance was assessed by the coaching staff after each game. Results indicated that changes in testosterone before competition predicted performance, but this effect was influenced by game location. Unexpectedly, the authors found a significant negative relationship between a rise in testosterone and performance for the away game and a nonsignificant positive relationship for the home game. These findings indicate that game location should be considered in studies examining the neuroendocrine correlates of athletic competition.
Putnam is with the Dept. of Psychology, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY. Carré is with the Dept. of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.