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A longitudinal investigation of bidirectional and time-dependent interrelationships between testosterone and training motivation in an elite rugby environment / Blair T. Crewther, Martin Hecht, Neill Potts, Liam Kilduff, Scott Drawer, Elizabeth Marshall, Christian Cook
Hormones and Behavior, Volume: 126, Start page: 104866
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In sport, testosterone has been positioned as a substrate for motivation with both directional and time dependencies. However, evidence is scarce when considering the complexities of competitive sport and no work has explicitly modeled these dependencies. To address these gaps, we investigated the b...
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In sport, testosterone has been positioned as a substrate for motivation with both directional and time dependencies. However, evidence is scarce when considering the complexities of competitive sport and no work has explicitly modeled these dependencies. To address these gaps, we investigated the bidirectional and time-dependent interrelationships between testosterone and training motivation in an elite rugby environment. Thirty-six male athletes were monitored across training weeks before and after eight international rugby matches. Pre-breakfast measures of salivary testosterone and training motivation (1–10 rating) were taken on training, competition, and recovery days (up to 40 tests). Using a continuous-time (CT) model, within-person estimates of autoregressive effects (persistence) and cross-lagged effects (relationships) were derived. A stronger, more persistent temporal association was identified for testosterone than for motivation. Cross-lagged effects verified that training motivation was positively related to testosterone at latter time points (p < 0.001). Discrete-time analyses revealed a non-linear association; increasing in strength from a zero-time lag to peak after 2.83 days (standardized effect = 0.25), before dissipation over longer lagged intervals. The testosterone relationship with ensuing training motivation was also positive, but non-significant. Match effects also appeared (p < 0.001) with a predicted decline in training motivation, but a rise in testosterone, at match onset. In summary, a positive association emerged between within-person fluctuations in self-appraised motivation to train and testosterone concentration in an elite rugby environment. The lagged, non-linear nature of this relationship and match predictions on both outcomes support, and extend, theoretical models linking testosterone and competitive behaviors.
Neuroendocrine, Training stress, Competitiveness, Adaptation, Dominance
College of Engineering