Self-confidence and affect responses to short-term sprint interval training

Physiol Behav. 2018 May 1;188:42-47. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.01.016. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


The study aimed to investigate the effects of repeated sprint (RS) training on somatic anxiety (SA), cognitive anxiety (CA), self-confidence (SC), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and repeated sprint ability (RSA) indicators in elite young soccer players. Thirty elite soccer players in the first football league (age: 17.8±0.9years) volunteered to participate in this study. They were randomly assigned to one of two groups: a repeated sprint training group (RST-G; n=15) and a control group (CON-G; n=15). RST-G participated in 6weeks of intensive training based on RS (6×(20+20m) runs, with 20s passive recovery interval between sprints, 3 times/week). Before and after the 6-week intervention, all participants performed a RSA test and completed a Competitive Scale Anxiety Inventory (CSAI-2) and the RPE. After training RST-G showed a very significant (p<0.000) increase in RSA total time performance relative to controls. Despite the faster sprint pace, the RPE also decreased significantly (p<0.005) in RST-G, and their self confidence was significantly greater (p<0.01), while the cognitive (p<0.01) and somatic (p<0.000) components of their anxiety state decreased. When practiced regularly, short bouts of sprint exercises improve anaerobic performance associated with a reduction in anxiety state and an increase in SC which may probably boost competitive performance.

Keywords: Anxiety; Motivation; RSA training; Soccer.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / physiopathology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Athletic Performance / psychology*
  • Female
  • High-Intensity Interval Training / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation / physiology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Concept*
  • Soccer / physiology
  • Soccer / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult