Micro-Oscillations in Positive and Megative Affect During Competitive Laboratory Cycle Time Trials – a Preliminary Study
St Clair Gibson, Alan
- Publisher: South African Sports Medicine Association, Health and Medical Publishing Group
Background. Incorporating pre-performance or retrospective recall measurement methods, research shows positive and negative affect to operate as both a precursor to performance and as a consequence of performance in line with goal achievement. The extent of this affective change within sport is unclear as measurement of affect within acute settings has yet to be fully adopted. \ud Objective. To conduct exploratory research examining affect and goal achievement during self paced cycling to further understand their role during performance.\ud Methods. The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark & Tellegen, 1988), Worcester Affect Scale (WAS; Rhoden & West, 2010) and ratings of goal achievement were completed by 7 trained cyclists prior to two separate 20 km laboratory time trials. The WAS and ratings of goal achievement were also rated during each trial.\ud Results. Micro oscillations in affect occurred throughout time trials and to a greater degree where participants were unsuccessful in reaching their goals. Successful trials were characterised by higher positive affect (p = 0.000) and lower negative affect (p = 0.000) with higher goal expectations from the start (p = 0.008).\ud Conclusion. In unsuccessful trials an overly aggressive start, perhaps due to inaccurate goal setting, led to the cyclists’ inability to maintain performance with reductions in power output. Further clarification of the catalyst to the performance demise requires analysis of psychological and physiological parameters in parallel. In so doing, a greater understanding of the combined role of affect and goal expectation in pacing and performance will ensue; a benefit to both cyclist and coach alike.