Relationships Between Flow, Mental Toughness, and Subjective Performance Perception in Various Triathletes

Jennifer Meggs, Mark Chen, Stefan Koehn

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    The current study examined the relationship between mental toughness, subjectively perceived performance and dispositional flow in a sample of 114 high performing ironmen and standard distance triathletes (Mage=28.81 years, SD=3.45) recruited from triathlon clubs. Participants completed the Mental Toughness Questionnaire, Dispositional Flow Scale and self-rated subjectively perceived performance. Pearson’s correlations between these measures revealed a significant, positive relationship between global mental toughness and subjective performance ratings (r = 0.62, p < 0.01) and between global mental toughness and all dispositional flow subscales (r = 0.67 – 0.81, p < 0.05). Linear regression analyses found that mental toughness subscales accounted for 64% of the variance in dispositional flow. Subjective performance ratings did not add significantly to the regression model. Overall, these findings suggest that mental toughness may contribute positively to ironman competitors’ and triathletes’ exertion of the cognitive and emotional control necessary to experience flow and perform better. We discuss these results in the context of ironman and triathlon competitions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2018


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