Authors: Megan Meckfessel and Lindsay Ross-Stewart
Department of Applied Health, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, USA
Department of Applied Health
Campus Box 1126
Edwardsville, Illinois 62026-1126
Megan Meckfessel, MS, is a Cross Country Coach, trainer, and Community Health Coach in O’Fallon Il. She is a marathon and ultra-distance runner.
Lindsay Ross-Stewart, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Health and the Director of Mental Performance for the Intercollegiate Athletics Department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her research focuses on the role of self-efficacy in athletic performance.
Differences in psychological skills in ultraendurance athletes and endurance athletes
The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in self-efficacy, self-motivation, and mood between ultraendurance athletes and endurance athletes. Forty-six endurance athletes and fifty-six ultraendurance athletes completed the Profile of Mood States, General Self-Efficacy Scale and Self-Motivation Inventory. The results of a MANOVA with sport type (endurance versus ultraendurance) as the independent variable and the total scores on all psychological variables and the subscales for self-motivation, mood, and self-efficacy as the dependent variables revealed a significant difference between endurance and ultraendurance athletes. The results indicated that ultraendurance athletes had higher overall motivation compared to endurance athletes. They also had higher scores for both drive and persistence. There were no differences between the groups for self- efficacy or mood. The results indicate that motivation may be the primary psychological factor differentiating between ultraendurance and endurance athletes. From an applied perspective it may be that athletes looking to make the leap from endurance sports to ultraendurance sports should focus on applied techniques for increasing motivation.(more…)