Psychophysiological stress in women athletes elite tennis players

Ivete Balen, Maressa Priscila Krause, Birgit Keller Marsili, Carla Cristina Tagliari, Evaldo José Ferreira Ribeiro Junior, Ricardo Weigert Coelho


A high degree of physical and mental stress is inherent to competitive training, which have been associated with an elevation of cortisol hormone, classifying it as a psychophysiologic stress indicator. To analyze psychophysiologic stress by saliva cortisol in female tennis athletes, 16 and 18 years-old, during a circuit of an international tournament. Participated forty-eight female tennis players, enrolled in the Copa Guga-Kuerten. Cortisol samples were collected by saliva, using a Salivette® tube, and analyzed by ELISA method. Samples were collected during the meeting (C pre) and immediately post-game (C-post). Data are described by mean and standard deviation, and analyze by an ANCOVA (2x2: categories: 16 and 18 years; and, winners and losers), using C pre measures as covariant (< 0.05). C-pre (8.0±3.6 nmol/L) differed from C-post (13.0±6.2 nmol/L) when the two categories were analyzed simultaneously (t = -7.526; p < 0.000), indicating an elevation of cortisol during the sportive event. There were not differences of cortisol concentrations between winners and losers had a higher cortisol concentration after the game. However, only a few studies evaluated the (F1,98 = 2.686; p = 0.104). There were not significant associations between athletes’ ranking with C-pre (0.083; p = 0.602) and C-post (-0.037; p = 0.818), which may indicates that athletes’ rank position do not influence on cortisol concentration. This study showed that female tennis athletes influences of sportive competition on cortisol reporting controversial results. Therefore, it is suggested that further studies quantifying other factors related to stress, purposing a better understanding of its influences on athletes’ performance.


Cortisol; Performance; Adolescentes; Women

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