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Changes in perceived stress and and recovery relate to changes in submaximal performance in team sport players.
Introduction In team sport, it is known that players perceive more stress and less recovery during the competition phase compared to pre-season (di Fronso et al., 2013). It is assumed that these changes in perception of stress and recovery have an effect on athletic performance. Unfortunately, studies relating perceived stress and recovery to performance in team sport players are limited. Therefore the aim of this study is to investigate whether changes in perceived stress and recovery are related to field-test performance. Methods During one full season 47 male and female players (age:21.7±3.5yr, length:186.9±11.5cm, weight:82.5±14.9kg) reported perceived stress and recovery every 3 weeks by filling out the Recovery Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-Sport) (Nederhof et al., 2008). Furthermore, the Heart Rate Interval Monitoring System (HIMS) test was used to determine (submaximal) performance (Lamberts et al., 2004). The heart rate at the end of the test as a percentage of the maximal HR (%HRsubmax) was used as performance indicators with lower values indicating better performance. Between each consecutive RESTQ-Sport and HIMS test differences scores were calculated for perceived stress and recovery and %HRsubmax, respectively. Pearson correlations were used to determine the relation between changes in perceived stress and recovery and changes in HIMS performance. Results An increase in perceived General and Sport Stress correlated with an increase in %HRsubmax, (r=0.27 and 0.21 respectively.