Abigail P. Cooley1, Sarah L. Grace1, Paula Parker1, Jennifer A. Bunn, FACSM2. 1Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC. 2Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.

BACKGROUND: Psychological hardiness encompasses three components: commitment, control, and challenge. Those with high levels of psychological hardiness are more adaptable, more coachable, and better able to respond to stressors than those with low hardiness. The purpose of this study was to examine post-game wellness scores based on level of psychological hardiness following wins and losses in collegiate female lacrosse athletes. It was hypothesized that hardy athletes would have higher wellness scores after both a win and loss compared to athletes with low hardiness. METHODS: Athletes completed the Dispositional Resilience Scale-15 (DRS-15) at the beginning of the training year to analyze psychological hardiness level. Players were grouped according to hardiness level: above average (AH, n = 9) and below average (BA, n = 8). Players also completed subjective daily wellness surveys that described overall wellness, muscle soreness, sleep quality, stress level, and energy level in arbitrary units (AU). Repeated measures of ANOVA (RM-ANOVA) evaluated differences of wellness scores by hardiness group and by game outcome. RESULTS: A difference was shown in total hardiness scores (p < 0.001) with AH (31.0 ± 1.4) scoring higher than BA (23.6 ± 3.5). No difference was found between hardiness groups for post-game wellness (AH: 71.0 ± 13.4 AU, BA: 65.4 ± 12.2 AU, p = .426). There was a difference by game outcome for overall wellness (win: 70.5 ± 12.6, loss: 66.2 ± 13.1, p = .015) and energy levels (win: 78.0 ± 17.8, loss: 72.8 ± 17.4, p = .024), but no group differences were noted. CONCLUSION: These analyses indicate the importance of analyzing the psychological impact of a win and a loss because all scores decreased after a loss. This wellness decline may be associated with a reduction in performance the following day. This information assists coaches and staff in showing athletes’ wellness is affected after a loss and should be taken into consideration when formulating practices to maximize performance.

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