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Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Abadan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Abadan, Iran.
Abstract:   (566 Views)
Background: The speed and accuracy of performance are affected by various factors, including mental fatigue. The current study investigated the effect of two durations of 15 and 30 minutes of mental fatigue on the speed and accuracy of throwing performance in skilled men handball players. 
Methods: The present study was semi-experimental with the participation of 45 skilled players (24.98 ± 3.66 years) who were randomly assigned to 15-minute, 30-minute mental fatigue, and the control group. Mental fatigue was induced by the Stroop task, and the accuracy of the throwing, Hit percent, and speed of performance were measured before and after the induction of mental fatigue. Data were analyzed using mixed analysis of variance with repeated measure. 
Results: Throwing speed and accuracy, as well as the Hit percent, decreased in both groups after 15 and 30 minutes of mental fatigue (P<0.05).  In the two groups of 30 and 15 minutes of mental fatigue, no significant difference was observed in the decrement of throwing accuracy (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The impact of mental fatigue goes beyond specialized technical performance in a sport, and any decline in performance due to mental fatigue is likely related to motivational issues. Also, mental fatigue causes attention to be diverted from target stimuli to stimuli that are irrelevant to task performance, leading to a reduced capacity to tight control over the primary task. To protect the accuracy of performance in tasks requiring speed, the mental activity of the athlete should be avoided before the performance.
  • Mental fatigue result in a decrement in throwing skills performance of handball players even when they are experienced.
  • The intensity of mental fatigue-or in other words, the duration (15 minutes and 30 minutes) of participating in the mental task inducing mental fatigue-, had the similar effect on how much performance reduced.
  • Due to the deviation of the performer's attention from related stimuli, mental fatigue causes a decrease in the accuracy of athletes' performance under time-pressure conditions.
  • Participating in a boring cognitive task, through the underlying neural mechanisms, slows down the performance of athletes.

Type of Study: Original Article | Subject: 2. Motor control
Received: 2022/09/3 | Accepted: 2022/11/10 | Published: 2022/11/19

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