Patterns of Change in Psychological Variables Leading up to competiton in Superior Versus Inferior Performers

Ruth Boat, Ian Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The study explored patterns of change in a number of potentially performance-related variables (i.e., fatigue, social support, self-efficacy, autonomous motivation, mental skills) during the lead-up to a competitive triathlon,
and whether these patterns of change differed for relatively superior versus inferior performers. Forty-two triathletes completed an inventory measuring the study variables every other day during a 2-week period leading up to competition. Performance was assessed using participants’ race time, and using a self-referenced relative score compared with personal best times. Multilevel growth curve analyses revealed significant differences in growth trajectories over the 2-week period in mental skills use, social support, and fatigue. The results provide novel insight into how athletes’ fluctuating psychological state in the 2 weeks before competition may be crucial in determining performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-256
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • growth models
  • triathletes
  • sports performance

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