The Cortisol Awakening Response and Resilience in Elite Swimmers

Jennifer Meggs, Jim Golby, Cliff Mallett, Daniel Gucciardi, Remco Polman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The sports environment is stress-eliciting in that it encapsulates perceived uncontrollability, unpredictability and requires ego-involvement. The HPA axis has been shown (indicated by cortisol release) to respond to anticipated sports competition up to a week prior to the event. Research also alludes to the importance of individual differences, such as optimism and trait perfectionism, in moderating the impact of cortisol upon performance. In total, 41 (male n=27) national (n=38) and international (n=3) swimmers were recruited from northeast England and Australia. Swimmers completed a measure of resilience and also provided buccal saliva swabs, from which total cortisol release prior to and during the event was calculated. Findings revealed that resilience significantly predicted performance and the influence of AUC (cortisol release) upon performance was moderated by resilience. These findings suggest that resilience can influence athletic performance either directly or indirectly, through appraisal (i. e., interpretation of the stressor to be facilitative and non-threatening).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume37
Issue number02
Early online date28 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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