Long-Acting Regulators of Mental State in Elite Sport

Control and Optimization of Their Influence
  • G. B. Gorskaya


Elite sport is characterized by high levels of physical and mental tension that affects performance during competition as well as the athletes mental health (Piloyan, 1985, Heyman, 1987). The most important destabilizing factors of the mental health of the elite athlete are the long acting regulators of emotional tension. These regulators can be divided into internal and external regulators. Internal regulators are those personality characteristics that increase the athletes sensitivity to emotional stress. External regulators are the stresses of life and the stress associated with training and interpersonal relations. The importance of the long acting regulators of mental state is recognized by sport psychologists (Hahn, 1983; Skanlan, Stain, Ravizza, 1991), but these regulators are not sufficiently taken into account in the psychological preparation of athletes. This situation can be attributed to the lack of information regarding the affects of long acting regulators of mental state on performance and mental health of the elite athlete. These regulators are more often discussed in connection with their influence on injury probability during sport (May, Veach, 1987; Hanson, McCullagh, Tonymon, 1992). The long acting regulators of mental state and emotional tension as well as methods to optimize their affects were investigated in the group of elite yachtsmen. Those factors influencing emotional tension and particularly those personality characteristics increasing the probability of mental stress overload were studied. These included the stability of crew position, the selection criteria for major competitions as well as national team selection and those factors influencing the competition programme.


Personality Characteristic Success Probability Social Position Elite Athlete Crew Member 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. B. Gorskaya
    • 1
  1. 1.Cuban State Academy of Physical EducationKrasnodarRussia

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