International Journal of Exercise Science 13(5): 1430-1447, 2020. Sport performance may be facilitated using regulatory fit, which is a match between individuals’ situational strategy and their chronic self-regulatory strategy. However, researchers have not examined the impact of regulatory fit on psychological and physiological components of sport performance, such as anxiety and arousal. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychophysiological reactions to regulatory fit by examining anxiety, arousal, and sport performance. Female college-level soccer players (n = 25) were randomly assigned to the regulatory match or regulatory mismatch conditions and completed anxiety (Competitive Sport Anxiety Inventory- 2R, CSAI-2R) and underwent arousal (heart rate variability, HRV; pre-ejection period, PEP) measures pre- and post-regulatory focus manipulation. Subsequently, participants completed a sport performance task (10 penalty kicks). The impact of regulatory fit on the dependent variables was explored through repeated measures ANOVAs. Results revealed a significant time effect for cognitive anxiety and self-confidence subscales of the CSAI-2R, suggesting the penalty kicking task increased cognitive anxiety and reduced self-confidence in all participants. In addition, there was a significant interaction effect of condition on pre-ejection period (PEP), with a greater increase in PEP for those experiencing regulatory fit compared to those who were not. There were non-significant interaction and main effects for all other variables. Since PEP is an inverse measure of sympathetic (SNS) modulation, experiencing regulatory fit may reduce SNS involvement in the heartbeat. Thus, the current results indicate experiencing regulatory fit may influence arousal prior to athletic competition.
Leitzelar, Brianna N.; Blom, Lindsey C.; Guilkey, Justin; Bolin, Jocelyn; and Mahon, Anthony
"Regulatory Fit: Impact on Anxiety, Arousal, and Performance in College-Level Soccer Players,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 13
5, Pages 1430 - 1447.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol13/iss5/9