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J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Sep;30(9):2399-405. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001363.

The Impact of Competitive Trait Anxiety on Collegiate Powerlifting Performance.

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1School of Kinesiology, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana; 2School of Kinesiology, University of Louisiana Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana; 3Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, Kentucky; and 4Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana.


Judge, LW, Urbina, LJ, Hoover, DL, Craig, BW, Judge, LM, Leitzelar, BM, Pearson, DR, Holtzclaw, KA, and Bellar, DM. The impact of competitive trait anxiety on collegiate powerlifting performance. J Strength Cond Res 30(9): 2399-2405, 2016-The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between competitive trait anxiety measures and powerlifting (PL) performance. Thirty-six collegiate powerlifters on club teams from 3 universities were recruited during a competition (men = 26, women = 10; age = 19.9 ± 1.5 years; height = 172.5 ± 8.6 cm; weight = 81.4 ± 21.0 kg). The athletes were distributed across weight classes for collegiate PL (47.6 kg: 1; 51.7 kg: 1; 54.9 kg: 1; 59.8 kg: 3; 67.1 kg: 2; 74.8 kg: 7; 82.1 kg: 4; 89.8 kg: 9; 99.8 kg: 5; super heavyweight: 3). A survey containing questions about PL performance history and the 15-item Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT) were administered to the participants before competing. The SCAT total was negatively correlated (r = -0.397; p = 0.02) to the athletes' percentage of best total achieved in the competition (actual performance total/best comp total × 100). Of the individual lifts, the SCAT score was negatively correlated to the personal best for bench press (r = -0.368; p = 0.03) and deadlift (r = -0.317, p = 0.05), but did not significantly correlate for squat (r = -0.182, p = 0.27). These results indicate a negative correlation between the SCAT score and athletes' personal best totals in PL. Increased SCAT scores were associated with decreased personal best PL totals. The results suggest that competitive trait anxiety may have negatively impacted performance and that some PL athletes may benefit from interventions aimed at decreasing anxiety before and during performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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