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Gregory J. Harger and John S. Raglin

The ability of athletes to accurately recall precompetition anxiety was tested in members of a collegiate track and field program. In Experiment 1, 34 athletes completed the state portion of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) 1 hour before a competition and again 2 days later. Actual and recalled precompetition anxiety were significantly (p < .01) correlated for the men (r = .96) and women (r = .97) athletes. Accuracy in recalling anxiety was comparable for athletes with above (r = .96) and below (r = .97) average self-ratings of performance. For Experiment 2, the procedure was repeated with 11 other athletes. In this case the STAI items were rearranged on the second form. Again, recalled and actual precompetition anxiety were highly correlated (r = .96, p < .01). It is concluded that athletes can accurately recall precompetition anxiety 2 days following competition. With further validation this method may be used in place of actual precompetition anxiety measurements.

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John Raglin, Sachi Sawamura, Serafim Alexiou, Peter Hassmén and Goran Kenttä

Adolescent swimmers (N = 231) from Greece, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S. completed questionnaires on training practices, mood state, staleness prevalence, and symptoms. Contrasts were made across countries and between stale and healthy groups. Of the total sample, 34.6% reported having been stale, ranging from 20.5% to 45.1% across countries. The mean length of staleness episodes was 3.6 weeks. Stale swimmers had faster (p < .01) personal best times in the 100-m freestyle compared with healthy swimmers. Mood disturbance was elevated (p < .05) during peak training for all countries except Japan. Stale swimmers reported greater (p < .05) mood disturbance at all assessments compared with healthy swimmers. The pattern of staleness symptoms was similar across all countries, with perception of training effort being the most affected.

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Courtney J. McGowan, David B. Pyne, Kevin G. Thompson, John S. Raglin and Ben Rattray

Context:

An exercise bout completed several hours prior to an event may improve competitive performance later that same day.

Purpose:

To examine the influence of morning exercise on afternoon sprint-swimming performance.

Methods:

Thirteen competitive swimmers (7 male, mean age 19 ± 3 y; 6 female, mean age 17 ± 3 y) completed a morning session of 1200 m of variedintensity swimming (SwimOnly), a combination of varied-intensity swimming and a resistance-exercise routine (SwimDry), or no morning exercise (NoEx). After a 6-h break, swimmers completed a 100-m time trial.

Results:

Time-trial performance was faster in SwimOnly (1.6% ± 0.6, mean ± 90% confidence limit, P < .01) and SwimDry (1.7% ± 0.7%, P < .01) than in NoEx. Split times for the 25- to 50-m distance were faster in both SwimOnly (1.7% ± 1.2%, P = .02) and SwimDry (1.5% ± 0.8%, P = .01) than in NoEx. The first 50-m stroke rate was higher in SwimOnly (0.70 ± 0.21 Hz, mean ± SD, P = .03) and SwimDry (0.69 ± 0.18 Hz, P = .05) than in NoEx (0.64 ± 0.16 Hz). Before the afternoon session, core (0.2°C ± 0.1°C [mean ± 90% confidence limit], P = .04), body (0.2°C ± 0.1°C, P = .02), and skin temperatures (0.3°C ± 0.3°C, P = .02) were higher in SwimDry than in NoEx.

Conclusions:

Completion of a morning swimming session alone or together with resistance exercise can substantially enhance sprint-swimming performance completed later the same day.