THE EFFECT AROUSAL HAS ON SPORTS PERFORMANCE

THE EFFECT AROUSAL HAS ON SPORTS PERFORMANCE

THE EFFECT AROUSAL HAS ON SPORTS PERFORMANCE

ABSTRACT

Motivation, relaxation training, psychosocial support, team and believe. are among other factors that greatly influence positively on improving sports performance. While failure to manage stress and anxiety affect negatively on the sports performance. For, an experimental research design study was carried out on 20 men who were assigned into two groups. Paired sample t-test was performed to test the significance. The mean differences of torque, work and power were not significant in pretest between two groups as the first groups allowed to play cards for 30 minutes before retest and second group received “psych-up mentally” before retest. There was significant difference in the mean values between the two groups in the retest after the interventions.

In the field of sports, excellent performance needs a synergy of multiple factors. A constant focus on exercise to be physically fit, mental concentration, nutritious diet, and social support system all play equally important roles. In all these, the motivation of an athlete is the key. How can an athlete be motivated to perform better? What drives the motivation of an athlete? These are basic but common questions that often arise when it comes to the improvement in sports performance. Extrinsic motivation can be defined as a construct that pertains whenever an activity is done in order to attain distinguishable outcome. When extrinsically motivated, a person is moved to act for the results, external pressures or rewards (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Intrinsic motivation can be defined as participation in an activity simply for the enjoyment of the activity. When intrinsically motivated, a person acting for the fun or challenge entailed rather than because of external pressures or rewards (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Weinberg and Gould (2019) have argued that “[…..] why some individuals are highly motivated and constantly strive for success, whereas others seem to lack motivation and avoid evaluation and competition” (p.53). Motivation is the key to elite performance and success in sports. Similarly, many researchers; Pragman, 1998; Parnabas and Mahamood, 2011; Weinberg and Gould 2011 have suggested relaxation techniques help to reduce anxiety and increase self-confidence and produce better performance (as cited in Parnabas, Mahamood, Parnabas & Abdullah, 2014). Further, Sorrentino and Sheppard (1978); Gill and Williams (2008); and Theodorakis and Gargalianos (2003) have suggested that apart from motivation, there are other factors such as athletes’ motives (fun, excitement, competence development) to participate in the sports. 

Several literature papers (Lobao-ferreira, Ferreira, Monteiro & Resende 2016; Sorrentino, & Sheppard, 1978; Theodorakis, & Gargalianos, 2003) suggest that motivation significantly influences positive performance among athletes. From the perspective of sports and exercise psychologists, motivation is affected by several factors such as achievement, competitiveness or intrinsic and extrinsic factors (Weinberg & Gould, 2019, p. 53-54). Furthermore, Weinberg and Gould (2019) suggest that motivation is derived from two broader concepts; the direction of effort and the intensity of effort. The direction of effort includes whether an individual seeks out, approaches, or is attracted to certain situations like a high school student being motivated to go for the tennis team and the intensity of efforts means how much effort one person puts in a particular situation like a student attending a physical education lesson (p. 54).

Moreover, relaxation techniques also influence sports performances. A research conducted among 122 athletes by Parnabas et al., (2014) had found that there is a positive correlation between medication and sports performance and progressive muscle relaxation and sports performance. The research suggested that relaxation techniques often improve sports performance as relaxation techniques help to reduce stress and anxiety. In other research, Lobao-ferreira et al., (2016) have studied the motivation and anxiety among Portuguese Women’s Rugby Sevens team composed of 12 female members and suggest that those athletes having higher levels of goals had lower levels of competitive anxiety and goal orientation was enhanced by the motivation from the coach and influenced the positive performance of the athletes. As motivation has a vital role in sports performance, understanding factors affecting motivation or types is essential. Broadly, Weinberg and Gould (2019) view motivation from three perspectives; trait-centred view, situation centred view and interactional view. The trait-centred view deals with an individual characteristic where their personality guides motivation, while the situation centred view deals with how the context affects motivation and likewise interactional view deals with how two sets of factors affect the overall motivation of a person and analyse on the improvement. Most sports leaders and sports psychologists adopt the interactional view of motivation. In addition, Weinberg and Gould (2019), have suggested five guiding steps to build motivation for teachers, coaches, trainers, exercise leaders, and program administrators which are; (i) consideration of both situations and traits for motivating people, (ii) Understanding people’s multiple motives for involvement, (iii) change the environment to enhance motivation, (iv) influence motivation, (v) use behaviour modification to change participant’s undesirable motives.

Furthermore, preparatory training has a remarkable effect on sports performance as put forward by Laursen and Buchheit (2019); suggesting that in the preparatory training mental aspect is given high importance along with other skill or strategy development. Similarly, with the rise of scientific training evolved to improve sports performance, diffusion and adoption training started being adopted by coaches and sports psychologists. In this connection, Hausswirth and Mujika (2013) argued that scientific training involves different cycles of training such as interval training (short and long), circuit training, endurance training and periodisation of training. The principles of psychology became an integral part of influencing preparation and improving sports performance (Hausswirth & Mujika, 2013). Tipton (1997), also had similar ideas on the need for scientific training. This research paper intends to determine whether playing cards or psych-up mentally has an influence on sports performance in physically active men through the experimental process.

Research Hypothesis

Null Hypothesis (H0): There are no significant differences in the sports performance between psych-up mentally and playing cards interventions among men.

Alternate Hypothesis (Ha): There are significant differences in the sports performance between psych-up mentally and playing cards interventions among men. It is expected that based on the literature review, there would be significant differences from these interventions.

This hypothesis is tested using the leg extension and flexion in the HUMAC-NORM muscle evaluation system where the torque, work, and power are measured before and after the intervention.

Several literature papers (Lobao-ferreira, Ferreira, Monteiro & Resende 2016; Sorrentino, & Sheppard, 1978; Theodorakis, & Gargalianos, 2003) suggest that motivation significantly influences positive performance among athletes. From the perspective of sports and exercise psychologists, motivation is affected by several factors such as achievement, competitiveness or intrinsic and extrinsic factors (Weinberg & Gould, 2019, p. 53-54). Furthermore, Weinberg and Gould (2019) suggest that motivation is derived from two broader concepts; the direction of effort and the intensity of effort. The direction of effort includes whether an individual seeks out, approaches, or is attracted to certain situations like a high school student being motivated to go for the tennis team and the intensity of efforts means how much effort one person puts in a particular situation like a student attending a physical education lesson (p. 54).

Moreover, relaxation techniques also influence sports performances. A research conducted among 122 athletes by Parnabas et al., (2014) had found that there is a positive correlation between medication and sports performance and progressive muscle relaxation and sports performance. The research suggested that relaxation techniques often improve sports performance as relaxation techniques help to reduce stress and anxiety. In other research, Lobao-ferreira et al., (2016) have studied the motivation and anxiety among Portuguese Women’s Rugby Sevens team composed of 12 female members and suggest that those athletes having higher levels of goals had lower levels of competitive anxiety and goal orientation was enhanced by the motivation from the coach and influenced the positive performance of the athletes. As motivation has a vital role in sports performance, understanding factors affecting motivation or types is essential. Broadly, Weinberg and Gould (2019) view motivation from three perspectives; trait-centred view, situation centred view and interactional view. The trait-centred view deals with an individual characteristic where their personality guides motivation, while the situation centred view deals with how the context affects motivation and likewise interactional view deals with how two sets of factors affect the overall motivation of a person and analyse on the improvement. Most sports leaders and sports psychologists adopt the interactional view of motivation. In addition, Weinberg and Gould (2019), have suggested five guiding steps to build motivation for teachers, coaches, trainers, exercise leaders, and program administrators which are; (i) consideration of both situations and traits for motivating people, (ii) Understanding people’s multiple motives for involvement, (iii) change the environment to enhance motivation, (iv) influence motivation, (v) use behaviour modification to change participant’s undesirable motives.

Furthermore, preparatory training has a remarkable effect on sports performance as put forward by Laursen and Buchheit (2019); suggesting that in the preparatory training mental aspect is given high importance along with other skill or strategy development. Similarly, with the rise of scientific training evolved to improve sports performance, diffusion and adoption training started being adopted by coaches and sports psychologists. In this connection, Hausswirth and Mujika (2013) argued that scientific training involves different cycles of training such as interval training (short and long), circuit training, endurance training and periodisation of training. The principles of psychology became an integral part of influencing preparation and improving sports performance (Hausswirth & Mujika, 2013). Tipton (1997), also had similar ideas on the need for scientific training. This research paper intends to determine whether playing cards or psych-up mentally has an influence on sports performance in physically active men through the experimental process.

Research Methodology

Participants:

Experimental research design has been applied for this study. A total of 20 physically active male participants were assigned into two groups randomly. Each group had ten participants, and participants of both groups were tested on the HUMAC-NORM muscle evaluation system for torque, work, and power using leg extension and flexion.

Procedure:

The group members of each group were first pretested for the torque, work, and power using leg extension and flexion then retested. However, before the retest, one experimental intervention was introduced in each group.

In group 1, the participants were asked to perform an initial test for torque, work, and power using leg extension and flexion. After pretesting, the group 1 participants were then prescribed playing cards for 30 minutes prior to the retest. All the participants were directed to try their best on the HUMAC-NORM machine in the retest. Then all the participants of group 1 were retested for torque, work, and power using leg extension and flexion.

The group 2 participants also did an initial test and retested for torque, work and power using leg extension and flexion, but there was another experimental intervention introduced to the group 2 participants. Before the retest in group 2, the participants were directed to psych-up mentally to promote the intention of performing better for 30 minutes and then the participants were retested for torque, work, and power using leg extension and flexion on HUMAC-NORM machine.

The units used to measure torque, work and power were Newton Meter, Joule and Watt respectively.

Statistical Analysis:

For this experimental study, an inferential statistical test that is paired sample t-test was applied to assess the significance of the interventions. Moreover, the paired sample t-test was also applied to analyse the mean differences between the two groups of participants at a 95% confidence level.

Likewise, the mean and standard deviation of the data was captured to analyse the descriptive statistics.

Results

Descriptive Statistics:

In the initial test, the torque of group 1 and group 2 are almost equal, as are the standard deviation. The mean value of torque for group 1 and group 2 was respectively 169.5 NM (SD 22.89) and 170.7 NM (SD 22.04). Similarly, the mean value of the work in the pretest was 197.7 J in group 1 and 199.5 J in group 2. Moreover, the mean power was found to be almost equal too in group 1 and group 2, i.e. 298.9 W (SD 10.5) in group 2 and 298.5 W (SD 12.03) in group 1. There were no remarkable differences in the mean and standard deviation of torque, work, and power of two groups in the pretest phase.

On the contrary to the initial test, significant differences in the mean values between the two groups were found in the retest phase. The mean torque in group 1 was 17.4 NM less than group 2. That means, the torque value in group 1 was 165.5 NM and group 2 was 182.9 NM in the retest. Similarly, the mean value of work was higher by 16.2 J in group 2 than group 1. Further, the mean value of power was higher by 10.8 W in group 2 than group 1. The descriptive statistics; the mean and standard deviation of the pretest and retest of torque, work, and power of both groups are illustrated in Table 1.

Table 1.  Athlete information

Paired Samples Statistics

 

Mean

N

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Pair 1

PretestTorque1

169.50

10

25.868

8.180

PretestTorque2

170.70

10

25.867

8.180

Pair 2

PretestWork1

197.70

10

22.891

7.239

PretestWork2

199.50

10

22.042

6.970

Pair 3

PretestPower1

298.50

10

12.030

3.804

PretestPower2

298.90

10

10.482

3.315

Pair 4

RetestTorque1

165.50

10

22.663

7.167

RetestTorque2

182.90

10

23.765

7.515

Pair 5

RetestWork1

194.00

10

19.972

6.316

RetestWork2

210.20

10

20.049

6.340

Pair 6

RetestPower1

298.60

10

11.768

3.721

RetestPower2

309.40

10

12.222

3.865

Inferential Statistics:

The paired sample t-test between the two groups at the pretest phase shows that there were no significant differences in the mean values for all three components; torque, work, and power. The P-value of torque, work, and power in the initial test are 0.37, 0.35 and 0.84 which are higher than 0.05. However, as displayed in Table 2, the paired sample t-test between two groups at the retest phase illustrates that there is a significant difference in the mean values between the two groups. The P-values for torque, work, and power are significant as the P-value for torque is 0.000, for work is 0.000 and power is 0.001, which are lower than 0.05. The mean difference in torque performance from playing cards to psych-up mentally was -17.4 NM with a 95% confidence interval ranging from -21.05 NM to -13.75 NM Similarly, the mean difference in work performance because of playing cards versus psych-up mentally was -16.2 J with a 95% confidence interval ranging from -20.49 J to -11.91 J. likewise, the mean difference in work performance because of playing cards versus psych-up mentally was 10.8 W with a 95% confidence interval ranging from -15.58 J to -6.02 J.

Therefore, we reject the null hypothesis “there are no significant differences in the sports performance between psych-up mentally and playing cards interventions among men”. Thus, meaning that the psych-up mentally or playing cards interventions does influence sports performance.

Table 2: Paired sample t-test between group 1 and group 2

Paired Samples Test

 

Paired Differences

t

df

Sig. (2-tailed)

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower

Upper

Pair 1

PretestTorque1 – PretestTorque2

-1.200

4.050

1.281

-4.097

1.697

-.937

9

.373

Pair 2

PretestWork1 – PretestWork2

-1.800

5.789

1.831

-5.941

2.341

-.983

9

.351

Pair 3

PretestPower1 – PretestPower2

-.400

5.910

1.869

-4.628

3.828

-.214

9

.835

Pair 4

RetestTorque1 – RetestTorque2

-17.400

5.103

1.614

-21.051

-13.749

-10.782

9

.000

Pair 5

RetestWork1 – RetestWork2

-16.200

5.996

1.896

-20.489

-11.911

-8.543

9

.000

Pair 6

RetestPower1 – RetestPower2

-10.800

6.680

2.112

-15.579

-6.021

-5.113

9

.001

Discussion

The results of this research suggest that motivation or mental psych-up influences the performance of torque, work, and power among the participants. According to Theodorakis and Gargalianos (2003), 73% of physical educators/coaches believed that their actions and themselves influenced athletes motivating them for better performance (as cited in Weinberg & Gould, 2019, pp. 60).

Aligned to what Weinberg and Gould (2019) have mentioned, motivation has found to have positively influenced improving the performance. Although individuals participate in sports having their motivations and interest, mentoring, guidance and coaching or support during the process helps in the sport’s improvement, which is shown by the result of this research. Furthermore, Parnabas, Mahamood, Parnabas, and Abdullah (2014) support that meditation and progressive muscle relaxation have a positive correlation on sports performance found among 122 athletes. The authors have argued that relaxation techniques tend to reduce anxiety and stress among the athletes, hence resulting in better sports performance. The author further suggests that the introduction of such techniques could reduce taking drugs for improving performance and reduction in their anxiety. Moreover, Mallett and Coulter (2011) have suggested that motivational role from coach effect on influencing positive results on an athlete’s performance.

As in this research, mental psych-up or playing cards have found to influence sports performance, this could relate to arguments put forward by different authors (mentioned above) on preparatory training or relaxation techniques where psychological support has been integral.

Conclusion

Sports performances are influenced by several factors, and among them, psychosocial support is one key aspect for motivation to perform better and improve the performance in all the forms of sport. This scientific report shows that there is evidence that there is a difference between interventions; playing cards and psych-up mentally, in the sports performance among men. The sports improvements tracked in the form of torque, work and power tested on the HUMAC-NORM muscle evaluation system using leg extension and flexion among physically active men. However, it is important to note that of the two interventions psyching up showed more significant physical results over playing cards.

References

Gill, D., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychological dynamics of sport and exercise (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Hausswirth, C., & Mujika, I. (2013). Physiology of Exercise Training. In Lambert & Mujika (Ed.), Recovery for performance in sport (pp.3-8). The United States of America: Human Kinetics.

Laursen, P., & Buchheit, M. (2019). Science and application of high-intensity interval training: solutions to the programming puzzle. The United States of America: Human Kinetics.

Lobao-ferreira, J., Ferreira, J. L., Monteiro, D., & Resende, R. (2016). Motivation and Anxiety with Portuguese Women’s Rugby Sevens Motivation and Anxiety with Portuguese Women’s Rugby Sevens. Journal of Sport Pedagogy & Research, 58–71.

Mallett, C., & Coulter, T. (2011). Understanding and developing the will to win in sport: Perceptions of parents, coaches, and athletes. In D. Gucciardi & S. Gordon (Eds.), Mental toughness in sport: Developments in theory and research (pp. 187–211). New York: Routledge.

Parnabas, V., & Mahamood, Y. (2011). Anxiety and imagery of green space among athletes. 2011 3Rd International Symposium & Exhibition In Sustainable Energy & Environment (ISESEE). doi: 10.1109/isesee.2011.5977126

Parnabas, V. A., Mahamood, Y., Parnabas, J., & Abdullah, N. M. (2014). The relationship between relaxation techniques and sport performance. Universal Journal of Psychology, 2(3), 108–112. https://doi.org/10.13189/ujp.2014.020302

Ryan, R., & Deci, E. (2000). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 54-67. doi: 10.1006/ceps.1999.1020

Sorrentino, R.M., & Sheppard, B.H. (1978). Effects of affiliation-related motives on swimmers in individual versus group competition: A field experiment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(7), 704–714.

Theodorakis, L.N., & Gargalianos, D.G. (2003). The importance of internal and external motivation factors in physical education and sport. International Journal of Physical Education, 40(1), 21–26.

Tipton, C. (1997). Sports Medicine: A Century of Progress. The Journal of Nutrition, 127(5), 878S-885S. doi: 10.1093/jn/127.5.878s

Weinberg, R. S. & Gould, D. (2019). Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology (7th Ed). Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.

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