Effects of a maximal-effort interval workout on perceived mental toughness and salivary hormones in collegiate female swimmers
Schleppenbach, Lindsay N.
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The relationship between hormonal responses to maximal-effort training and mental toughness has not been thoroughly defined through previous research. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore relationships between perceived mental toughness and hormonal responses to maximal-effort interval training in collegiate swimmers. Seven female swimmers from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse provided saliva, which was later analyzed for testosterone (T) and cortisol (C), in addition to completing the Mental Toughness Scale (MTS) before and after a maximal-effort interval workout. There were no group changes in MTS, C, T/C, or Repetitions Completed, but there was a trend (P=.017) towards an increase in T. Pearson correlations revealed statistically-significant relationships (P<.05) between MTS and C (r=.58), T and C (r=.65), MTS3 and T3 (r=.87), MTS3 and C3 (r=.80), and MTS and C (r=.77). There were trends towards very-large relationships between MTS2 and C2 (r=.73, P=.061) and T and T and C in response to a stressful workout, suggesting those with higher MTS endure greater physiological stress responses.