The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP)
International Olympic Committee
ABSTRACT: Coyne, JOC, Coutts, AJ, Newton, RU, and Haff, GG. The influence of mental fatigue on sessional ratings of perceived exertion in elite open and closed skill sports athletes. J Strength Cond Res 35(4): 963-969, 2021-The main purpose of this investigation was to examine influence of mental fatigue on sessional ratings of perceived exertion (sRPE) over a training week in elite athletes in open skill (OS, i.e., more unpredictable and externally paced sports) and closed skill (CS, i.e., more predictable and internally paced) sports. Visual analogue scales for mental fatigue, sRPE (CR-10 scale), and training duration were collected from an OS group (n = 27) of basketball and volleyball athletes and a CS group (n = 28) of weightlifting and track and field athletes during a typical training week 5 months before the 2016 Olympic Games. These variables were then examined using repeated measure correlations and linear mixed models with the level of significance set for the study at p < 0.05. There was a small significant correlation between mental fatigue and sRPE in the OS group (r = 0.23, p < 0.01), but not in the CS group (r = -0.07, p = 0.38). Mental fatigue had trivial influence on sRPE during individual sessions, but had a moderate effect on total sRPE over a week (p < 0.001, f2 = 0.265) when accounting for type of sport, training duration, and injury/illness burden. It seems mental fatigue may not significantly influence sRPE in individual training sessions, but may potentially have a cumulative effect that may affect the sRPE over a training week. This suggests monitoring mental fatigue independently of other training load (TL) measures may be worthwhile for strength and conditioning specialists and sports coaches to manage their athletes and researchers conducting studies into TL and performance.
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