The purpose of this study was to implement a mental skills training (MST) intervention to an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets’ regular physical fitness routine and examine effects and relationships with the cadets’ physical fitness scores and mood states. Male (n = 22) and female (n =9) cadets from the Army ROTC branch at Bowling Green State University completed a series of questionnaires at two time points, pre-mental skills training and post-mental skills training. The pre- and post-intervention questionnaires included: demographic and informational surveys, the Profile of Mood States (POMS), Test of Performance Strategies
2- Short Form (TOPS 2-S), International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Army Combat Fitness Tests (ACFT). Multiple analyses were conducted to determine the results of this study, including: bivariate correlations of ACFT scores with the POMS and TOPS 2-S scores at pre- and post-intervention; hierarchical regressions to predict ACFT scores using gender and mental skills as predictor variables; and factorial ANOVAs with repeated measures to test the main and interaction effects of time, gender, and ACFT fitness improvement category on mental skills. Results of these analyses indicated significant (p < 0.05) relationships for male cadets’ ACFT fitness scores with total mood disturbance, tension (post only), vigor, fatigue and confusion. For female cadets, no significant relationships were found for ACFT scores and mood states. For both genders, ACFT fitness scores indicated significant (p < 0.05), or a trend for (p < 0.15), correlations with activation, goal setting, self-talk. Female cadets were also noted to trend toward a significant relationship with negative thinking. For the regression analyses, gender accounted for much of the variance (68% to 70%) in ACFT fitness scores at the first step. Mental skills for self-talk and activation used during fitness testing accounted for additional variance at pre- and post-intervention, respectively. Mental skills for goal setting and attentional control
used during training accounted for additional variance at pre- and post-intervention, respectively. For the factorial ANOVAs with repeated measures, the use of most mental skills during fitness testing improved following the intervention with improvements greater for women in most cases. Similar findings, albeit not as numerous, were reported for mental skills used during training.
Overall, this study showed that there are significant relationships between mental skills training and Army ROTC fitness scores and that the intervention was effective in improving use of mental skills during training, but especially during fitness testing.
Dr. David Tobar - Professor/BGSU
Dr. Jess Kiss - Professor/BGSU
Piatka, Mackenzie, "THE EFFECTS OF A MENTAL SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAM ON ROTC CADETS’ PHYSICAL FITNESS SCORES" (2022). Masters of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects. 95.