Mood State and Performance
Can mood state really affect performance on the field of play in sport? Can feeling happy, sad, anxious, angry or indifferent have a major influence (if any) on how a player / athlete performs during a match / race? The answer is a resounding “Yes”. An athlete’s mood state can have a huge impact on their performance, depending on mood type and severity. Indeed, research has proven that mood can actually affect many different aspects of athletic performance. For example, poor mood has been reported to cause anger, confusion, fatigue and tension during competition, along with issues contributing to goal-setting and vigor. Even one of these mood states alone can be harmful towards performance, but a combination of them all can sometimes severely hamper an athlete’s efforts.
Positive and Negative Effects of Mood
Your mood variations and increase in frustration and anger can have negative effects on your decision making and focus. Negative emotions caused by a low mood state can also sap your energy resources and cause you to fatigue more easily. But can a reverse effect occur when the athlete is in a positive mood state? Some research suggests that this is apparent from an academic point of view, with mood playing an important part during written and oral examinations. This study concluded that irrespective of examination type, positive mood states were associated with more facilitative cognitive states and better performance.
Mood and Performance
Our mood has a major influence in how we think and feel and strongly influences our behavior and relationships. When our mood is low, we become more anxious and irritable and our emotions can rule the show. If we are in a good mood, everything can sometimes seem that little bit easier and nothing feels like too much trouble. If we are in a bad mood, even the simplest of things can feel overwhelming and a struggle. Mood and sentiment in a team environment can be contagious. Sometimes the attitude and mood of one person can have a knock-on effect on the whole team and this holds true for a positive or negative mood state.
Sleep Quality and Mood
We have all experienced how sleep can affect our mood. After a sleepless night we are often more irritable and vulnerable to stress and anxiety. Very often a good night’s sleep can restore our mood. In the same way sleep or lack of it can affect our mood, the inverse is also true – our mood and mental state can affect our sleep. A 2019 study – Relationship Between Sleep Quality and Mood: Ecological Momentary Assessment Study – aimed to investigate the relationship between self-reported daily mood and sleep quality. 208 adults self-reported their daily mood and sleep patterns over a 6 week period. The participants were made up of 4 roughly equal groups: depressed and anxious, depressed only, anxious only, and controls. The study found that daily sleep quality and mood are related, with the effect of sleep quality on mood being significantly larger than the reverse. They noted a strong effect of sleep quality on next-day mood.
A 2020 study on the relationship between sleep duration and mood in adolescents concluded:-
Sleep duration signiﬁcantly predicted mood deﬁcits on all moodstates, including increased depression, anxiety, anger, negative affect and reduced positive affect. This effect was observed across geographical regions, demonstrating that short sleep is truly a universal risk-factor for mood deﬁcits
Fortunately, there are many interventions that can improve sleep hygiene and sleep duration/quality and targeting sleep hygiene education and the benefits of optimal sleep can help reduce the likelihood of mood issues.
Managing mood states
It’s apparent that mood state can have a big influence on how athletes perform. Yet what measures can be taken to ensure that the athlete in question can maintain a positive state of mind? Some academics have pointed towards such techniques as listening to music, analyzing situations and removing yourself from a situation as examples of reducing levels of anger, tension and confusion in certain competitive or training situations. Other theorists have suggested receiving massage treatment in the build up to games or to avoid the use of certain supplements, for example caffeine, which may interfere with sleep patterns and in turn cause alterations in mood state the following day. Ensuring adequate sleep helps improve mood and your overall well-being. Finding an optimum mood state is particularly important for performance and finding a way to achieve the best fit for the athlete here could pave the way for new success in the future.
Monitoring using Metrifit
It is impossible to measure what you can’t see, and some athletes are exceptionally good at hiding how they really feel. Looking at the ‘small picture’ of an athlete’s daily habits, shapes the ‘big picture’ of match day performance. Metrifit provides a simple and effective method for athletes to record their mood as part of its athlete monitoring package. Metrifit’s daily traffic light report will indicate what issues athletes are having and who warrants a follow up. The analytics provided by Metrifit will also look for deviation from normal patterns at the individual level across many variables including mood state and stress.
Educating and empowering athletes to improve their lifestyle can pay huge dividends on the playing field. Metrifit’s new Lifestyle Profiling is akin to a ‘health check’ for your team. It provides invaluable insight into the well-being of your team with clear visuals that help you make informed decisions to prepare your athletes for optimal performance.
To find out more about our Metrifit Ready to Perform product or our new lifestyle profiling contact us at or click on ‘Request Demo’ below.
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"When COVID altered college athletics as we knew it, Metrifit came to the rescue. This intuitive athlete monitoring, health and well-being system provides the athlete, coach, and sports medicine staff a way to monitor and balance the physical, emotional, health and well-being of our athlete’s. Metrifit provided that calm in the middle of the perfect storm for our entire athletic department for the future. Thank you to the entire Metrifit family for assisting our department with a seamless process."
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