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Medicina dello Sport 2017 September;70(3):333-43

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.17.03093-9

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Psychophysiological stress regulation in football athletes during competition

Yildirim KAYACAN 1 , Ahmet MOR 2, Tuba OZGOCER 3, Cihat UCAR 3, Sedat YILDIZ 3

1 Yasar Dogu Faculty of Sports Sciences, Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey; 2 Faculty of Sports Sciences, Sinop University, Sinop, Turkey; 3 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, İnonu University, Malatya, Turkey


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BACKGROUND: Exercise brings about endocrinological changes to balance homeostasis during challenging coordinative movements, thus leading to physiological and psychological stress. The present study aimed to assess, by non-invasive means, the stress levels and cortisol awakening responses (CAR) of athletes playing a football match.
METHODS: Male football (soccer) players (N.=14, age 21.3±3.25 years) in a regional professional league took part in the study. To determine cortisol responses, saliva samples were taken on 3 different days during a regular league match. The salivary cortisol levels of the athletes were analyzed by ELISA. All participants were asked to fill in STAI-T questionnaires. The repeated measures test was used for cortisol comparisons between the sampling times and for CAR comparisons between days.
RESULTS: According to the analyses, CAR levels decreased on the game day and increased the day after. As the competition time approached, the values beginned to rise but returned to initial values half time. At the end of the match, a slight increase was observed. There were no statistically significant differences in CAR and competition samples. There were no correlations between cortisol parameters and STAI-T scores (P>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Football is a team sport requiring coordinated team effort and this appeared to incluence current data. Moreover, significant hormonal fluctuations related to competition revealed that professional football players are well adapted to the competition releated stress.


KEY WORDS: Football - Physiological stress - Psychological stress - Hydrocortisone

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