RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PRE-COMPETITION MOOD AND SWIMMING PERFORMANCE: TEST OF A CONCEPTUAL MODEL WITH AN EMPHASIS ON DEPRESSED MOOD
 
Terry, P.C. and Janover, M., University of Southern Queensland, Australia
 
The present study tested a conceptual model of mood-performance relationships (Lane & Terry, 2000) which emphasizes that the effects of tension and anger on sport performance are moderated by depressed mood. Participants were 354 adolescent swimmers (males = 193, females = 161; age range = 11 - 18 yr., M = 13.9 yr., SD = 1.7 yr.) from 10 schools in Melbourne, Australia, who were competing in an inter-schools competition. Pre-race mood was assessed using the Profile of Mood States - Adolescents (POMS-A: Terry, Lane, Lane, & Keohane, 1999) a 24-item measure comprising six subscales (anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, tension, vigour). Participants were dichotomized into depressed mood (n = 122) and no- depression (n = 232) groups. In accord with the hypothesized model, mood responses were generally more positive among the no-depression group, and interrelationships among mood dimensions were stronger in the depressed mood group. Mood scores accounted for 25% of the variance in swimming performance, which was self-referenced against personal best and target time (see Lane, Terry, Beedie, Curry, & Clark, 2001). A positive vigour- performance relationship and inverse fatigue-performance and confusion- performance relationships were found for both groups. While an inverse tension-performance relationship was found for the sample overall, the relationship was curvilinear among the no-depression group. The hypothesized moderating effect of depressed mood on the anger-performance relationship did not emerge clearly. The findings suggest that the interactive effects of pre-race mood states impact upon swimming performance, and that interventions designed to enhance swimming performance should particularly target depressed mood.