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Article

Competition Seriousness and Competition Level Modulate Testosterone and Cortisol Responses in Soccer Players

1
Facultad de Educación, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja, Avenida de la Paz 137, 26002 Logroño, Spain
2
Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Málaga, Campus Teatinos s/n, 29071 Málaga, Spain
3
Grupo de Investigación Hi20, Universidad de Vigo, Campus a Xunqueira s/n, 36005 Pontevedra, Spain
4
Research Institute for Diabetes and Metabolism, Florida Hospital Sanford, Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, 301 East Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32804, USA
5
Faculty of Sports Science, Universidad Europea de Madrid, 28670 Madrid, Spain
6
Grupo de Investigación en Cultura, Educación y Sociedad, Universidad de la Costa, Barranquilla 080002, Colombia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010350
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 27 December 2019 / Accepted: 2 January 2020 / Published: 4 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychophysiological Responses to Stress)
This study aimed to analyze the modulating effect of competition seriousness and competition level in the testosterone and cortisol responses in professional soccer player. Ninety five (95) soccer players were included in this study (professional, n = 39; semiprofessional, n = 27; amateur, n = 29) before and after training, friendly game and official games. Repeated measures ANOVA showed higher testosterone levels (F(1,89) = 134, p < 0.0001, η2p = 0.75) in professional soccer players, when compared with semiprofessional (p < 0.0001) or amateur athletes (p < 0.0001). After winning a competition game an increase in testosterone levels was observed in professionals (t = −3.456, p < 0.001), semiprofessionals (t = −4.400, p < 0.0001), and amateurs (t = −2.835, p < 0.009). In contrast, this momentary hormonal fluctuation was not observed after winning a friendly game or during a regular training day. Additionally, statistical analysis indicated that cortisol levels were lower in professional (t = −3.456, p < 0.001) and semiprofessional athletes (t = −4.400, p < 0.0001) than in amateurs (t = −2.835, p < 0.009). In soccer players a rise in testosterone was only observable when the team was faced with an actual challenge but did not support a different response between categories. Thus, the desire to achieve a goal (and keep the social status) may be one of the key reasons why testosterone levels rise promptly. Conversely, testosterone did not change after friendly games, which suggests these situations are not real goals and the players do not perceive an actual threat (in terms of dominance) more than the preparation for their next competitive game. View Full-Text
Keywords: soccer; competitive behaviour; winner effect; social dominance; testosterone; cortisol soccer; competitive behaviour; winner effect; social dominance; testosterone; cortisol
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiménez, M.; Alvero-Cruz, J.R.; Solla, J.; García-Bastida, J.; García-Coll, V.; Rivilla, I.; Ruiz, E.; García-Romero, J.; Carnero, E.A.; Clemente-Suárez, V.J. Competition Seriousness and Competition Level Modulate Testosterone and Cortisol Responses in Soccer Players. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 350. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010350

AMA Style

Jiménez M, Alvero-Cruz JR, Solla J, García-Bastida J, García-Coll V, Rivilla I, Ruiz E, García-Romero J, Carnero EA, Clemente-Suárez VJ. Competition Seriousness and Competition Level Modulate Testosterone and Cortisol Responses in Soccer Players. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(1):350. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010350

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jiménez, Manuel, José R. Alvero-Cruz, Juan Solla, Jorge García-Bastida, Virginia García-Coll, Iván Rivilla, Enrique Ruiz, Jerónimo García-Romero, Elvis A. Carnero, and Vicente J. Clemente-Suárez 2020. "Competition Seriousness and Competition Level Modulate Testosterone and Cortisol Responses in Soccer Players" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 1: 350. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010350

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