This study investigated the relationship between challenge and threat states and anaerobic power, core affect, perceived exertion, and self-focused attention during a competitive sprint cycling task. Thirty-five participants completed familiarization, baseline, and pressurized Wingate tests. Before the pressurized test, challenge and threat states were measured via self-report (demand resource evaluation score) and cardiovascular reactivity (challenge/threat index). After the pressurized test, relative peak power, core affect, perceived exertion, and self-focused attention were assessed. Evaluating the pressurized test as more of a challenge (i.e., coping resources match or exceed task demands) was associated with greater increases in relative peak power (vs. the baseline test) and more positive affect, as well as marginally lower perceived exertion and less self-focused attention. However, challenge/threat index failed to predict any variable. Although the findings raise questions about the value of the physiological pattern underlying a challenge state for anaerobic power, they highlight the benefits of evaluating a physically-demanding task as a challenge.
- Cardiovascular reactivity
- Cognitive appraisals
- Demand and resource evaluations
- Sports performance
ASJC Scopus subject areas