Emotion self-regulation and athletic performance: An application of the IZOF model

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Objectives:To examine the effects of multimodal and individualised self-regulation strategies upon emotions and bodily symptoms of athletes’ psychobiosocial state and performance, within the Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning (IZOF) framework.Design:A multiple baseline single-subject design.Method:Eight male high-level Italian athletes (four goalkeeper roller-skating hockey players and four gymnasts) participated in the study. Procedures involved: (a) recall of idiosyncratic emotions and autonomic symptoms associated with best and worst performances; (b) identification of spontaneous idiosyncratic psychological preparation procedures; (c) monitoring of precompetitive emotions across a competitive season; (d) implementation of an individual multimodal self-regulation programme; and (e) a social validation interview.Results:Preliminary empirical support was provided for the effectiveness of a mental training strategy to optimise precompetitive psychobiosocial states and to improve competition performance. Findings also supported the in/out-of-zone notion applied to perceived emotions and bodily symptoms.Conclusions:Further research is needed to replicate and extend study findings, explore additional concepts incorporated in the recent developments of the IZOF-psychobiosocial model, and develop effective intervention strategies.

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