Competition can increase an athlete’s performance. The competitive drive frequently displayed by athletes may not exist if athletes are unaware of the competition. The purpose of this study is to determine if performance is improved when the athlete is not informed of the competitive setting. Eighteen college-aged females were recruited. All participants were current or former college or high school athletes (age: 20.9 ± 1.8 yrs., HT: 172 ± 6.7 cm, WT: 68.1 ± 9.9 kg). Athletes were blinded to the purpose of the study. Prior to participation in experimental trials, athletes’ maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max: 41.0 ± 5.4 mL/kg/min; HRmax: 189 ± 9 b/p) was measured on a treadmill and they also performed a 20 min time trial for familiarization. In a balanced cross-over design, the athletes performed two 20 min time trials on separate days. The control trial (CT) was performed with only one athlete running. The competition trial (COMP) consisted of two athletes matched for VO2max (≤ 5 mL·minˉ¹·kgˉ¹), running on treadmills that were side by side. The athletes were not informed that they were competing with the other athlete during COMP. Overall distance, peak HR, and peak RPE were compared between CT and COMP using a paired samples t-test (p
Bullinger, Dyana M.S., CSCS; Biggerstaff, Kyle Ph.D.; Rogers, Rebecca M.S.; Nichols, David FACSM, Ph.D.; and Ben-Ezra, Vic Ph.D.
"Effects of Competition on Performance and Physiological Responses in Female Athletes,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 2
, Article 50.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol2/iss6/50