Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2017 ) 16 , 498 - 504

Research article
Influence of Competitive-Anxiety on Heart Rate Variability in Swimmers
Leonardo S. Fortes1, , Bruna D. V. da Costa1, Pedro P. Paes1, José R.A. do Nascimento Júnior2, Lenamar Fiorese3, Maria E.C. Ferreira4
Author Information
1 Graduate Program of Physical Education, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
2 Graduate Program of Physical Education, Federal University of Vale do São Francisco, Petrolina, Brazil
3 Graduate Program of Physical Education, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Brazil
4 Graduate Program of Physical Education, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil

Leonardo S. Fortes
✉ Graduate Program of Physical Education, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
Email: leodesousafortes@hotmail.com
Publish Date
Received: 14-06-2017
Accepted: 15-09-2017
Published (online): 01-12-2017
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ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between competitive anxiety and heart rate variability (HRV) in swimming athletes. A total of 66 volunteers (41 male and 27 female) who swam the 400-m freestyle in the Brazilian Swimming Championships participated. Thirty minutes before the 400-m freestyle event, the athletes answered the Competitive Anxiety Inventory (CSAI-2R) questionnaire, then underwent anthropometric (body weight, height, and skinfold thickness) and HRV measurements. Then, at a second meeting, held 3 h after the 400-m freestyle event, the athletes returned to the evaluation room for HRV measurement (Polar® RS800cx, Kempele, Finland). Multiple linear regression was used to evaluate the relationship between competitive anxiety and HRV. The multiple linear regression was performed in three blocks (block 1: cognitive anxiety, block 2: somatic anxiety, and block 3: self-confidence), adopting the forward model. The results indicated a significant association between cognitive anxiety (p = 0.001) and HRV. An increased magnitude of the association was observed when somatic anxiety was inserted in the model (p = 0.001). In contrast, self-confidence showed, which was inserted in block 3, no relationship with HRV (p = 0.27). It was concluded that cognitive and somatic anxieties were associated with the HRV of swimmers. Athletes with a high magnitude of cognitive and/or somatic anxiety demonstrated more significant autonomic nervous system disturbance. Practically, psychological interventions are needed to improve anxiety states that are specific to perform well, and to improve HRV.

Key words: Athletes, sport psychology, anxiety, swimming


           Key Points
  • The level of competitive-anxiety can predict HRV’s response after competition in young swimming athletes.
  • Young swimming athletes who demonstrate higher competitive-anxiety, may present high autonomic nervous system disorder, which can be evaluated by HRV.
  • Coaches are encouraged to periodically evaluate the competitive-anxiety of young swimming athletes.
 
 
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