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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Jun 01

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.11811-0

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in archers: cortisol release, stress, anxiety and success

Yildirim KAYACAN 1 , Deniz G. DEREBASI 1, Cihat UCAR 2, Tuba OZGOCER 3, Sedat YILDIZ 4

1 Yasar Dogu Faculty of Sports Sciences, Ondokuz Mayıs University, Samsun, Turkey; 2 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Adıyaman University, Adıyaman, Turkey; 3 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Harran University, Urfa, Turkey; 4 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, İnonu University, Malatya, Turkey


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BACKGROUND: Archery is a unique sport requiring simultaneous physical and psychological focusing for precisely hitting the small, distant target. Thus, in this sport, the effects of stress and anxiety on success might be more pronounced as a slight deviation in aiming may translate into a large error in meeting the target. Therefore, the current study aimed to assess the interrelationship between anxiety, cortisol awakening response (CAR), cortisol levels during the shooting period, and success in professional male archers during a national tournament.
METHODS: Archers (16-20 years-old, male, n=20) shooting with recurve bow participated in the current study during the indoor archery championship. For the assessment of CAR, salivary samples were collected at 0 (wake up), 30, 45- and 60-min post-awakening on three consecutive days, namely qualification, individual elimination, and team shooting days. On the first two days of the shootings (i.e., qualification and elimination), shooting salivary samples were collected at 30 min and 15 min before the shootings, at half-time and just after the shootings. State and trait anxiety inventory were filled in on the day of registration (the day before qualification shootings).
RESULTS: CAR, measured as the area under the curve (AUC), was higher on the elimination day (P=0.038) compared to the qualification day. Shooting cortisol levels were also higher on the elimination day compared to the qualification day (P=0.004). Archers having high rankings on qualification day also had higher success rates on elimination day (r=0.963, P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Moderately increased state anxiety, higher CAR, and elevated shooting cortisol levels appear to be the integral components of the elimination stage during a real competition in archery. Thus, assessment of secretion dynamics of cortisol appears to be a valuable objective tool for understanding the neuroendocrine control during the competition days.


KEY WORDS: Cortisol; Anxiety; HPA; Archery; Shootings; Hormones

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