Psychophysiological Stress Responses during Training and Competition in Young Female Competitive Tennis Players

Published on Sep 24, 2014in International Journal of Sports Medicine2.132
· DOI :10.1055/s-0034-1384544
J. Fernandez-Fernandez1
Estimated H-index: 1
Daniel A. Boullosa16
Estimated H-index: 16
(UCB: Universidade Católica de Brasília)
+ 3 AuthorsAlberto Mendez-Villanueva33
Estimated H-index: 33
(Qatar Airways)
This study sought to compare the psychophysiological stress responses during an actual competitive game and a training session in a group of high-level young female tennis players. 12 players were monitored during one match and a training day (i. e., simulated match play). Measurements included salivary cortisol (SC), the revised Competitive Sport Anxiety Inventory, heart rate (HR), and rate of perceived exertion (RPE). Match day elicited higher SC levels for losers at all points in time when compared to winners. All players showed significantly lower SC levels during training when compared to the match at all points in time except during the evening for winners. Winners of match and training situations had significantly higher self-confidence and lower cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety scores than losers. Heart rate and RPE were significantly higher for losers only during the match (158.9±8.3 vs. 168±6.7 bpm; 12.9±1.2 vs. 15±0.8, for losers and winners, respectively). There were moderate to strong correlations between SC, self-confidence and anxiety scores, and match workload (i. e., HR and RPE) only during the match day. These results indicate that the interplay between psychophysiological responses, match workload and outcome was evident only under real competitive situations.
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