Drive in Sports: How Mental Fatigue Affects Endurance Performance

Schiphof-Godart, Lieke, Roelands, Bart and Hettinga, Florentina (2018) Drive in Sports: How Mental Fatigue Affects Endurance Performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. p. 1383. ISSN 1664-1078

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Performance in endurance sports relies on athletes' drive, which is the sum of all factors pushing athletes to exert effort during exercise. Mental fatigue can influence endurance performance by decreasing athletes' drive to exercise. From a psychological point of view, mental fatigue has two separate components: it can affect drive by increasing the perceived effort necessary for a given task ("I cannot do this, I am too exhausted"), or by decreasing the perceived value of the reward that can be obtained ("I do not want to do this, it is not worth it"). Neurophysiological theories confirm this dual nature of mental fatigue. It is suggested that mental fatigue can activate the inhibition centers of the brain, increasing perceived effort for a given task, hence decreasing drive and willingness to act. On the other hand, it may also deactivate facilitative brain centers (normally responsible for motivated behavior and increased drive toward a reward), also resulting in decreased drive. In this Perspective we will adopt a multidimensional approach, describing how mental fatigue interacts with drive and performance in endurance exercise. We aim to show how mental fatigue affects endurance performance via two main mechanisms: perceived effort and reward. We will study the interaction between mental fatigue and other factors impacting on drive, such as perceived exertion and motivation, and examine how these factors combined result in athletes' exercise behavior (such as pacing) and performance. This will provide researchers, coaches, and athletes with useful tools in order to understand, influence and enhance athletes' drive in exercise, which is of high relevance in elite endurance sports, where mental fatigue, motivation, and stakes all are of the highest level.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cognitive fatigue, Endurance exercise, Motivation, Pacing, Perceived exertion
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2022 07:36
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 08:01

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