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Effects of a Soccer Tournament on the Psychohormonal States of Collegiate Female Players

Broodryk, Adele1; Pienaar, Cindy1; Edwards, David2; Sparks, Martinique1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: February 18, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002993
Original Research: PDF Only

Broodryk, A, Pienaar, C, Edwards, D, and Sparks, M. Effects of a soccer tournament on the psychohormonal states of collegiate female players. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2018—A gap exists in the literature concerning the connection between soccer players' hormonal and psychological responses when playing a tournament, or even a match, and its outcome (victory or defeat). This study evaluates the effects of a week-long tournament on the psychohormonal states of collegiate female soccer players. Eight players' cortisol (saliva sample), mood states (Incredibly Short Profile of Mood States [ISP]), and state-anxiety (state subscale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) were assessed 1 hour before and 15 minutes after every game. Cortisol increased significantly after most matches, with intramatch differences observed (p < 0.05, d > 1.2). Match intensity influenced cortisol secretion, with greater secretion as intensity increased. The ISP demonstrated intramatch differences for the subscales' fatigue, depression, tension, and vigor (p < 0.05). Matches lost produced a higher total mood disturbance (TMD) index compared with matches won (p = 0.001, d = 1.4). Cortisol correlated with the TMD and various mood subscales before a winning outcome, with the ISP correlating at all times with the anxiety scores (p < 0.05). In conclusion, these results indicate that physiological and psychological variables combine to contribute to the stress response during a tournament. Focusing on high-intensity activities and minimizing fatigue are important, as both are associated with raised cortisol and negative mood states. Finally, implementing a mood questionnaire over a tournament can be beneficial, as sensitive information on players' hormonal and perceived anxiety states, which subsequently affect physical performance, can be obtained.

1Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Research Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; and

2Psychology Department, University of Zululand, Kwadlangezwa, South Africa

Address correspondence to Dr. Adele Broodryk, adele.broodryk@nwu.ac.za.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.