Reinforcing an athlete’s mentality is globally recognized as an essential aspect of performance enhancement, particularly when done through mental training. While the effects of the training should be evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively, most studies have been limited to subjective feedback from athletes. Likewise, there is a large gap between the intense pressure that world-class athletes experience on the field versus. that which can be measured in the lab. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the effects of mental training, including athletes’ concentration states in actual sports situations, on how they apply the mental skills they have learned into their respective sport fields. In this study, 20 days of breathing exercises were conducted with an Olympian (individual sport). After completing the training, the athlete’s concentration during actual sports situations was then compared to the lab data. The effects of the mental training were verified by physiological indices, performance indices, and self-report. Based on the results from the elite athlete, the same experiment with 14 shooting athletes was also conducted. The results, based on the transition of the Stress Eraser (SE) points and respiration rates, verified a relaxation training effect followimg a 20-day breathing exercise protocol. Moreover, the results from performance indices suggested that the implementation of breathing technique in actual sports situations played a part in improving performance, and functioned as a self-control skill that enhanced an appropriate concentration state. Lastly, self-report showed that the athletes subjectively felt the difficulty and training effect of the breathing technique learning process. The gap between the data acquired in the lab and the sports field matched with the results of the physiological reactions, including SE points and breathing rates.
The pelvic floor muscles training (PFMT) has been reported to be effective for patients with urinary and fecal incontinence. However, there is few report available on PFMT in Japan. The purpose of this study is to present a case report on PFMT using electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback for a patient with fecal incontinence who was unable to contract pelvic floor muscles voluntarily. The subject was a woman received surgery for a pelvic organ prolapse (POP). The symptoms from the POP were resolved by the surgery, but frequent gas incontinence during walking remained. Synchronized muscle activity of pelvic floor muscles (PFM) and abdominal muscles were obtained for the baseline assessment, and the strength of the PFM in a quick contraction (maximum contraction) was found to be 10 μV. Myotrac3 (Thought Technology, Canada) was used for the assessment and the intervention, and PFMT was conducted by using the EMG pattern that aimed for a PFM contraction independent of an abdominal muscles contraction. Ten sessions, once per two weeks were conducted. The value of maximum contraction did not change throughout the sessions. The independent contractions of PFM were gradually increased from the 8th session. Frequency of fecal incontinence decreased after 6th session. The result suggested that to reduce fecal incontinence, contracting the PFM without excessively contracting the abdominal muscles is more important than increasing the value of a PFM maximum contraction. The authors believe that reporting single case study is essential and may lead to an increase of biofeedback for PFMT of patients with fecal incontinence in Japan.