Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Exploration of Crossfit Athletes Physiological Self-Regulation and Competition Performance
by Wildgoose, Tammy M. C., Ph.D., Alliant International University, 2019, 97; 22584343
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between CrossFit athletes natural ability to physiologically self-regulate and their competition performance. CrossFit athletes of varying abilities who were preparing to compete in the annual CrossFit Open 2018 competition participated in the study. Participants completed a semi-structured interview and two self-assessment questionnaires related to performance anxiety and mental flexibility. The athletes then participated in a five-minute recording of their baseline physiology, a 3-minute stress induction activity, and a five-minute recording of their physiological recovery. Physiology was measured in seven domains including heart rate, breathing rate, heart rate variability, skin conductance, muscle tension, and hand temperature. The main hypothesis was that HRV recovery would predict competition performance. At the conclusion of the five-week CrossFit Open competition, competition placement information was gathered from the on-line publicly available CrossFit Open competition leaderboard. Sixteen of the athletes went on to compete at the CrossFit Regionals competition and of those, seven went on to compete at the CrossFit Games competition. Data analysis suggests that athletes who are better able to physiologically self-regulate in response to a stressor performed better in the CrossFit Open. In addition, physiological self-regulation still predicted performance outcome even when holding heart rate recovery, a measure of general physical fitness, constant. Which indicates that when fitness level is controlled for those that physiologically self-regulate better perform better in competition. The present study suggests that physiological self-regulation may be useful in enabling athletes to perform optimally, and therefore biofeedback training may be a beneficial addition to the CrossFit training program.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gevirtz, Richard
Commitee: Dalenberg, Constance, Alhassoon, Omar
School: Alliant International University
Department: San Diego, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physiological psychology, Psychology
Keywords: Heart rate variability, Peak performance, Performance anxiety, Psychophysiology, Sports performance, Sports psychology
Publication Number: 22584343
ISBN: 9781085735957
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