Article Title

A survey to evaluate the association of COVID-19 restrictions on perceived mood and coping in Australian community level athletes

Abstract

Australian community level athletes faced unprecedented changes to their training and competition options as the global COVID-19 pandemic took a stronghold. This disruption was predicted to have a negative impact on emotional well-being as communities braced through periods of social isolation and physical distancing requirements. This study provides an Australian perspective on the emotional well-being of community level athletes and the extent to which they coped during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emotional well-being and coping were measured using the Brief Emotional Experience Scale and the 28-item Brief Cope Scale. Both instruments were administered along with other questions pertaining to participant demographics and training status via an online survey between April and June 2020. The survey was disseminated to community athletes through word-of-mouth and social media platforms. No significant differences in emotional well-being were observed between athlete groups as a result of COVID-19 and its associated restrictions. Coping scores also appeared to be preserved in Australian community athletes, which contrasts the impact expected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While tentative, the observed preservation in coping may have buffered potential declines in emotional well-being, which has been documented in professional and semi-professional athletes and the general population. These unexpected findings and tentative suppositions warrant further investigation and highlight the importance of conducting a country- or region-specific approach to examining the impact of COVID-19 on community athletes, as responses to COVID-19 are undoubtedly not consistent throughout the world.

Keywords

2019-nCoV (2019 novel coronavirus), Australia, athlete, survey, coping

Link to Publisher Version (URL)

10.3389/fspor.2021.624267

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