Psychological correlates of performance in female athletes during a 12-week off-season strength and conditioning program

J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Mar;24(3):619-28. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cc23c3.


Examination of the relationship between performance testing and psychological measures before and after a 12-week strength and conditioning program was the study's purpose. Female NCAA Division-III soccer (n = 28), field hockey (n = 28), and softball (n = 19) athletes completed pre- and post-testing held 12 weeks apart. On day 1, athletes completed informed consent, 3 psychological measures (Profile of Mood States [POMS], Physical Self Perception Profile [PSPP], and Athlete's Self Perception of Physical Abilities [ASPPA]), and 2 strength tests (1 repetition maximum [1RM] bench, 1RM back squat). Day 2 consisted of the 30-yd sprint, pro agility run (PRO), vertical jump (VJ), and standing long jump (SLJ). All sports improved (p < 0.01) in 1RM bench and squat and reported increases in perceived Physical Strength on the PSPP (p < 0.01). Soccer athletes improved (p < 0.01) in VJ, SLJ, and PRO (p < 0.05). No differences were found in POMS scores. The POMS scores indicated that the athletes were not overtrained or experiencing staleness. A series of correlations showed relationships between physical and psychological measures. Specifically, Physical Strength was correlated with 1RM upper-body (r = 0.49, p < 0.01) and lower-body (r = 0.42, p < 0.01) strength. The PSPP Physical Strength was correlated with ASPPA ratings of upper-body (r = 0.68, p < 0.01) and lower-body (r = 0.57, p < 0.01) strength. The PSPP Sport Competence correlated with ASPPA ratings of power (r = 0.45, p < 0.01) and PRO (r = 0.38, p < 0.05). The study's results highlight the benefits of strength and conditioning. Furthermore, these results demonstrate how physical changes are related to athletes' physical self-perceptions and self-assessment of ability within their teams.

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology
  • Athletes / psychology*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology
  • Athletic Performance / psychology*
  • Baseball / physiology
  • Baseball / psychology
  • Female
  • Hockey / physiology
  • Hockey / psychology
  • Humans
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / psychology
  • Psychological Tests
  • Resistance Training*
  • Soccer / physiology
  • Soccer / psychology
  • Time Factors