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David T. Martin, Mark B. Andersen and Ward Gates

This study examined whether the Profile of Mood States questionnaire (POMS) is a useful tool for monitoring training stress in cycling athletes. Participants (n = 11) completed the POMS weekly during six weeks of high-intensity interval cycling and a one-week taper. Cycling performance improved over the first three weeks of training, plateaued during Weeks 4 and 5, decreased slightly following Week 6, and then significantly increased during the one-week taper. Neither the high-intensity interval training nor the one-week taper significantly affected total mood or specific mood states. POMS data from two cyclists who did not show improved performance capabilities during the taper (overtraining) were not distinctly unique when compared to cyclists who did improve. Also, one cyclist, who on some days had the highest total mood disturbance, responded well to the taper and produced his best personal effort during this time period. These findings raise questions about the usefulness of POMS to distinguish, at an individual level, between periods of productive and counterproductive high-intensity training.

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Pia-Maria Wippert and Jens Wippert

As career termination is an incisive event in life, it is therefore important to understand the effects of different types of retirement on an athlete’s biography. Thus, the present longitudinal study is concerned with the effects of career termination of professional national team-athletes on the development of psychopathological symptoms, locus of control, self-concept, and mood, with special consideration of the mediator variable “subjective control of event-onset.” Data were collected from 42 professional athletes (17 of whom experienced an unexpected dismissal and 4 voluntarily retired) using standardized questionnaires (SCL-90-R, ASTS, FKK) 10 days before event entrance (baseline-test), 10 days after, 3 weeks after, and 5.5 months after onset of career termination. Although the baseline data did not reveal personality differences between the groups, dismissed athletes showed significantly stronger psychological distress after event onset. They displayed a stronger initial reaction, a more severe crisis, and longer transition periods than the control group. Results are discussed in connection with the combination of social evaluative threat and forced failure during event onset and their strong effects on distress after career termination.

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Twan ten Haaf, Selma van Staveren, Erik Oudenhoven, Maria F. Piacentini, Romain Meeusen, Bart Roelands, Leo Koenderman, Hein A.M. Daanen, Carl Foster and Jos J. de Koning

Purpose:

To investigate whether monitoring of easily measurable stressors and symptoms can be used to distinguish early between acute fatigue (AF) and functional overreaching (FOR).

Methods:

The study included 30 subjects (11 female, 19 male; age 40.8 ± 10.8 y, VO2max 51.8 ± 6.3 mL · kg–1 · min–1) who participated in an 8-d cycling event over 1300 km with 18,500 climbing meters. Performance was measured before and after the event using a maximal incremental test. Subjects with decreased performance after the event were classified as FOR, others as AF. Mental and physical well-being, internal training load, resting heart rate, temperature, and mood were measured daily during the event. Differences between AF and FOR were analyzed using mixed-model ANOVAs. Logistic regression was used to determine the best predictors of FOR after 3 and 6 d of cycling.

Results:

Fifteen subjects were classified as FOR and 14 as AF (1 excluded). Although total group changes were observed during the event, no differences between AF and FOR were found for individual monitoring parameters. The combination of questionnaire-based changes in fatigue and readiness to train after 3 d cycling correctly predicted 78% of the subjects as AF or FOR (sensitivity = 79%, specificity = 77%).

Conclusions:

Monitoring changes in fatigue and readiness to train, using simple visual analog scales, can be used to identify subjects likely to become FOR after only 3 d of cycling. Hence, we encourage athlete support staff to monitor not only fatigue but also the subjective integrated mental and physical readiness to perform.

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Erika Casolino, Cristina Cortis, Corrado Lupo, Salvatore Chiodo, Carlo Minganti and Laura Capranica

Purpose:

To anticipate outstanding athletic outcomes, the selection process of elite athletes simultaneously considers psychophysiological and technical parameters. This study aimed to investigate whether selected and nonselected athletes for the Italian national taekwondo team could be discriminated by means of sportspecific performances and psychophysiological responses to training.

Participants:

5 established Italian national athletes and 20 elite Italian taekwondo black belt athletes (9 women, 16 men; age 23.0 ± 3.1 y; body mass 67.0 ± 12.1 kg).

Methods:

To update the Italian national-team roster, the 20 elite athletes participated in a 1-wk selection camp (7 training sessions). Selected athletes (n = 10) joined established national athletes during the following 3-wk national training period (7 training sessions/wk). During the 1-wk selection camp, differences (P < .05) between selected and nonselected athletes in performances, heart-rate responses, blood lactate accumulation [La], subjective ratings of perceived exertion (session RPE), and mood were examined. During the 3-wk national training period, differences (P < .05) in mood between selected and established national athletes were investigated.

Results:

With respect to nonselected athletes, selected athletes responded better to training in terms of session RPE (P = .047) and [La] (P = .046). No difference in performance and mood between subgroups emerged. After the 3-wk national training period, differences (P = .035) emerged for confusion, with decreases in the established national athletes and increases for recently selected athletes.

Conclusions:

Session RPE and [La] seem to be more effective than psychological measures in discriminating between elite taekwondo athletes. Evaluation of mood could be effective in monitoring athletes’ response to national training.

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Jeffrey J. Martin, Laurie A. Malone and James C. Hilyer

Research on elite female athletes with disabilities is extremely rare. Therefore, using the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (Cattell, Cattell, & Cattell, 1993) and Profile of Mood States (Droppleman, Lorr, & McNair, 1992), we examined differences between the top 12 athletes comprising the gold medal winning 2004 USA women’s Paralympic basketball team and 13 athletes attending the selection camp who did not make the team. Multivariate analysis of variance with follow-up tests revealed that athletes who made the Paralympic team scored higher on tough-mindedness (M = 5.7 vs. 4.3) and lower in anxiety (M = 5.6 vs. 7.8). For mood state, the Paralympians scored higher in vigor (M = 19.5 vs. 14.8) and lower in depressed mood (M = 3.9 vs. 6.7) and confusion (M = 5.5 vs. 7.5). The effect sizes were large (e.g., Cohen’s d = 0.91 - 1.69) for all five results.

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Lieselot Decroix, Robert P. Lamberts and Romain Meeusen

associated with decreased performance but also often accompanied by a change in mood status. 11 The Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire is a valid and commonly used psychological tool that shows a dose–response relationship with training load, as well as a close association with performance, 3 and

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Ben T. Stephenson, Christof A. Leicht, Keith Tolfrey and Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

do seem to produce consistent results. 13 This has been commonly assessed via the Profile of Mood State (POMS) or the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Sport (RESTQ-S). POMS is a 65-item questionnaire capable of profiling total mood disturbances or specific subscales; RESTQ-S is a 76-item tool

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Peter Hassmén and Eva Blomstrand

Morgan’s well-known iceberg profile, characterized by Profile of Mood States (POMS) scores above the population norm on vigor and below the norm on tension, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion, is said to indicate a successful athlete. Preperformance POMS scores of team members might therefore give a prior indication of the actual team performance. Nine female soccer players from the same team participated in the study. The players completed the POMS before, immediately after, and 2 hours after each game during a season. The outcome of the games greatly affected the players’ mood states. Tension, depression, anger, and confusion scores were lower (ps < .01), and vigor was higher (p < .01) when the team won. Prior to the games, only minor differences in POMS scores were detected, regardless of the actual outcome. Taken together, the results do not support the notion that POMS scores could be helpful in predicting team performance.

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Allan J. Rowley, Daniel M. Landers, L. Blaine Kyllo and Jennifer L. Etnier

The Profile of Mood States (POMS) is commonly used to measure mental health in athletes. Athletes scoring below norms on scales of tension, depression, confusion, anger, and fatigue, and above norms on vigor, are said to possess a positive profile that graphically depicts an iceberg. However, the predictive power of the iceberg profile has recently been questioned. A meta-analysis was conducted on 33 studies comparing the POMS scores of athletes differing in success to estimate the magnitude of the findings. The overall effect size was calculated to be 0.15. Although this value was significantly different from zero, the amount of variance accounted for was less than 1%. The results suggest that across many different sports and levels of performance, successful athletes possess a mood profile slightly more positive than less successful athletes. However, with such a small and nonrobust effect, the utility of the POMS in predicting athletic success is questionable.

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Michael Kellmann, Dieter Altenburg, Werner Lormes and Jürgen M. Steinacker

Training stress and adequate recovery have been identified as important factors to enhance performance in sports and to avoid overtraining. Research dealing with training monitoring and overtraining is mostly based on the Profile of Mood Stales (POMS). Recently, Kellmann and Kallus (2000, 2001) published the Recovery-Stress-Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-Sport), which assesses training effects from the perspective of stress and recovery. During a six-week training camp before and at the World Championships, 24 female and 30 male rowers of the German Junior National Rowing Team completed the RESTQ-Sport and the POMS six times. Results of selected MANOVA’s revealed significant increases of stress and decreases of recovery when training load expands, and vice versa. Changes in mood, creatine kinase, and ergometer performance reflect the alteration and success of training. These results suggest that the RESTQ-Sport is a potential alternative to the POMS in evaluating the impact of various training schedules.