Improving Sports Performance and Wellbeing with the BRUMS

In the world of sports, achieving peak performance goes beyond physical prowess; understanding and optimizing mental well-being is equally crucial. The Brunel Mood Scale (BRUMS) emerges as a valuable tool, offering athletes and coaches a deeper insight into the psychological aspects of sports performance. In this blog post, we will delve into what the BRUMS is, its outcomes, and why it proves indispensable for enhancing both athletic prowess and overall well-being.

What is BRUMS?

The Brunel Mood Scale, developed by Dr. Terry Magill and his team at Brunel University, is a psychometric tool designed to assess mood states in athletes. It contains 24 simple mood descriptors like “angry,” “uncertain,” and “miserable.” Athletes self-report on a scale of 0-4 how much they relate to each mood descriptor based on how they feel at the present moment.

The BRUMS measures six identifiable mood factors: tension, depression, anger, vigor, fatigue, and confusion. Athletes rate their feelings on a scale to provide a comprehensive overview of their emotional states.

The Outcomes: Decoding the Athlete’s Mind

1. Tension: Reflects feelings of nervousness and unease. High tension levels can impair concentration and coordination, affecting performance negatively.

2. Depression: Measures the extent of athletes feeling downhearted or dejected. Identifying signs of depression is crucial for early intervention and support.

3. Anger: Gauges the intensity of feelings associated with hostility and irritability. Unresolved anger can lead to decreased focus and team cohesion.

4. Vigor: Indicates an athlete’s sense of energy and enthusiasm. High vigor levels are associated with optimal performance and overall well-being.

5. Fatigue: Assesses the perception of tiredness and exhaustion. Monitoring fatigue is vital for preventing overtraining and burnout.

6. Confusion: Measures the athlete’s cognitive state. Reducing confusion enhances decision-making and mental clarity during crucial moments.

Why is it Useful for Sports Performance?

The BRUMS gives athletes and coaches an objective snapshot of the athlete’s mood state. The scores help identify which mood factors may be impairing or enhancing performance. For example, higher scores in fatigue, tension, depression, and anger are usually detrimental. Higher scores in vigor and lower scores in confusion tend to be associated with better performance.

In team sports, comparing BRUMS profiles can reveal differences in mood states among team members – useful information for coaches in planning practices and lineups. The BRUMS can also quantitatively track fluctuations in mood over time related to training cycles, competitions, injuries, life events, and other challenges.

What Insights Does the BRUMS Provide?

1. Early Detection of Mental Health Issues: The BRUMS allows athletes and coaches to identify signs of mood-related issues such as depression and stress, enabling timely intervention and support.

2. Optimizing Training Plans: By understanding an athlete’s mood states, coaches can tailor training programs to align with their mental and emotional well-being. This helps prevent overtraining and ensures optimal performance.

3. Enhancing Team Dynamics: Recognizing mood patterns in athletes can aid coaches in fostering a positive team environment. Addressing issues such as anger and confusion can improve communication and team cohesion.

4. Maximizing Mental Toughness: Athletes who are aware of their mood states can develop strategies to enhance mental resilience. This self-awareness is a key component of mental toughness, a crucial attribute for success in competitive sports.

How Coaches and Athletes Can Utilize the BRUMS

Athletes can use the BRUMS to self-monitor mood fluctuations and relate these to their training, sleep, nutrition, recovery, and personal lives. Understanding mood states and their triggers can help athletes appropriately modulate their training, refine pre-performance routines, or flag potential issues requiring intervention.

Coaches can administer BRUMS tests to monitor team mood profiles. Low vigor and high negative mood scores may prompt adjusting training loads and recovery times. If negative moods are associated with certain athletes, positions, or points in the season, coaches can use that data to inform decisions and create targeted interventions if warranted.

These are some of the ways the BRUMS can be used:

1. Regular Assessments: Conduct regular BRUMS assessments to track mood fluctuations. This provides valuable data for identifying trends and implementing targeted interventions.

2. Communication and Support: Create an open dialogue between athletes and coaches to discuss the results of BRUMS assessments. This fosters a supportive environment and encourages athletes to seek help when needed.

3. Incorporate Mental Skills Training: Use BRUMS outcomes to tailor mental skills training programs. Techniques such as mindfulness, visualization, and relaxation exercises can be customized based on an athlete’s specific mood profile.

4. Individualized Recovery Plans: Adjust recovery strategies based on an athlete’s fatigue levels. This ensures that rest and recuperation are aligned with an individual’s needs, preventing burnout and injury.


The Brunel Mood Scale is a powerful tool that goes beyond physical performance, unlocking the door to the athlete’s mental landscape. By utilizing the BRUMS, athletes and coaches can enhance overall well-being, optimize training strategies, and pave the way for peak athletic performance. It’s time to acknowledge the intricate relationship between mind and body, recognizing that true excellence in sports requires a harmonious blend of both.

SELFLOOPS has integrated the Brunel Mood Scale (BRUMS) on the website and smartphone applications.


P.C Terry, A.M Lane, G.J Fogarty, Construct validity of the Profile of Mood States— Adolescents for use with adults, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2003, Pages 125-139, ISSN 1469-0292, DOI:

Peter C. Terry , Andrew M. Lane , Helen J. Lane & Lee Keohane (1999), Development and validation of a mood measure for adolescents, Journal of Sports Sciences, 17:11, 861 872, DOI: 10.1080/026404199365425