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Physiol Behav. 2017 Aug 1;177:291-296. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.05.017. Epub 2017 May 17.

Salivary steroid response and competitive anxiety in elite basketball players: Effect of opponent level.

Author information

1
Department of Sport, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
2
School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
3
Department of Sport, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: alemoreira@usp.br.

Abstract

This study examined the effect of playing matches against different opponent teams (hard match; HM, medium match; MM, and easy match; EM) on pre-match testosterone concentration (T), pre-to-post match cortisol (C) concentration, and pre-competitive anxiety (CSAI-2 questionnaire) in 20 elite male basketball players. One training session (TS) was also assessed (control condition). Saliva steroids were determined by ELISA. The pre-T concentration was significantly lower for the TS (163±54pmolL-1), compared to the three official matches (EM: 208±82pmolL-1, MM: 213±57pmolL-1, and HM: 218±37pmolL-1) (p<0.05). A significant change in C from pre-to-post was observed for all conditions (TS [5.8±3.7 vs 14.4±9.4ƞmolL-1], EM [10.1±4.9 vs 17.3±10.2ƞmolL-1], MM [13.0±7.4 vs 21.5±8.3ƞmolL-1], and HM [18.9±5.8 vs 31.4±5.3ƞmolL-1] (p<0.05). A higher PRE-C was observed for the HM, compared to TS and EM (p<0.05) and a higher POST-C concentration for the HM was detected, compared to the TS, EM, and MM (p<0.05). A lower anxiety level was observed for the EM (somatic: 15.0±3.7; cognitive: 15.8±4.5 arbitrary units [AU]) compared, to the MM (somatic: 16.4±3.5; cognitive: 17.7±4.0AU) and HM (somatic: 15.8±3.9; cognitive: 18.3±3.9AU) (p<0.05) and a higher self-confidence was observed for the TS (28.9±5.1AU), compared to the HM (26.7±3.0AU) (p<0.05). These results suggest that playing against a high-level opponent may cause a higher psychobiological stress, likely because opponent level may be perceived as threating to the social status in a given hierarchy.

KEYWORDS:

Cortisol; Saliva; Team-sports; Testosterone; Training monitoring

PMID:
28527679
DOI:
10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.05.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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