THE EFFECTS OF PRE-EVENT SPORTS MASSAGE ON PSYCHOLOGICAL MOOD STATE AND PERFORMANCE
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of pre-event massage on psychological mood state and sprinting performance. Nine participants (4 female; 5 male), collegiate sports students at Cardiff Metropolitan University participated in this study over two consecutive weeks. The study followed a randomised cross over design, during the first week of testing half the participants completed testing with a massage intervention while the other half received no massage. Participants either received a 15 minute lower body pre-event massage which included techniques of effleurage and petrissage, followed by a set warm up or went straight into completing the set warm up. The 5 minute warm up included jogging for 3 minutes and dynamic stretches. Participants then completed 3 sets of 50 metre sprints with 3 minutes rest between each interval. Average and fastest sprint times were calculated. After 5 minutes recovery participants completed a profile of mood state questionnaire to assess how they felt massage affected them psychologically. Results were statistically analysed using a paired samples t-test with a significance accepted at p<0.05. No significant differences were found between sprint time scores, when receiving massage to not receiving massage. Results from the POMS questionnaire indicated that pre-event massage had no significant effect on Total Mood Disturbance or mood subscales of Tension-Anxiety and Vigour-Activity. However, massage did have a significant effect on Fatigue-Inertia levels, therefore massage significantly decreased fatigue levels in participants compared to no massage (p>0.05). It can be concluded that the effects of pre-event massage is still an inconclusive area of research. Until scientific evidence is found, athletes should be aware that massage may not significantly affect their performance, but also that massage hasn’t been shown to have a negative effect therefore if it works for athletes they should continue to use it.
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