The I-PANAS-SF: A Tool for Peak Performance and Well-being in Sports

In the world of sports, understanding and optimizing psychological factors can be the key to unlocking an athlete’s full potential. Coaches and athletes alike are constantly seeking ways to enhance performance and well-being. One valuable tool in this pursuit is the International Positive and Negative Affect Schedule Short Form, the I-PANAS-SF, a psychological assessment that provides valuable insights into emotional experiences. In this blog post, we will explore what I-PANAS-SF is, how it compares to the PANAS, and why it is a crucial asset for athletes and coaches aiming to improve sports performance and overall well-being.

What is the I-PANAS-SF?

The I-PANAS-SF, developed by Edmund Thompson, is a shortened, 10-item version of the original PANAS scale. The I-PANAS-SF, like its predecessor, yields two distinct scores: Positive Affect (PA) and Negative Affect (NA). However, the I-PANAS-SF is more concise, featuring a reduced number of items while maintaining its reliability and validity.

The validated scale consists of two 5-item mood scales: one for positive affect (e.g. active, inspired) and one for negative affect (e.g. afraid, nervous). Participants self-report the extent they experienced each mood state, allowing easy snapshot measurements of key attitudinal dimensions.

Unlike lengthier assessments, the brevity of the I-PANAS-SF is particularly advantageous for busy athletes and coaches, allowing for regular assessments without a significant time commitment. This enhancement in efficiency makes I-PANAS-SF a valuable update for those looking to integrate psychological assessments seamlessly into their training routines.

Why is I-PANAS-SF Useful for Sports Performance?

Positive emotions, such as excitement, enthusiasm, and optimism, can enhance an athlete’s motivation, focus, and resilience in the face of challenges. Conversely, negative emotions, such as anxiety, nervousness, and anger, can hinder performance by disrupting concentration, interfering with decision-making, and increasing the risk of injury. By regularly assessing an athlete’s emotional state using the I-PANAS-SF, coaches can gain valuable insights into their mental preparedness and identify areas that require intervention.

Using I-PANAS-SF for Performance Enhancement:

Mood Tracking and Intervention:

  • Athletes should incorporate regular I-PANAS-SF assessments into their routine to track emotional trends and make informed adjustments to training plans. This monitoring provides insights into emotional fluctuations, helping athletes recognize patterns and identify potential triggers for both positive and negative emotions. 
  • Coaches can use the I-PANAS-SF results to assess the emotional impact of specific training drills, tactical strategies, or game situations.
  • Coaches can identify patterns in athletes’ mood fluctuations and proactively address any underlying concerns that may be affecting performance.

Feedback and Goal Setting:

  • Coaches can use I-PANAS-SF results as a basis for feedback discussions with athletes. Collaboratively setting emotional well-being goals can contribute to overall performance improvement. 
  • Coaches can use the I-PANAS-SF to provide athletes with constructive feedback on their mental preparedness and emotional regulation skills.
  • Athletes can reflect on their mood ratings and identify areas for improvement, using the I-PANAS-SF as a tool for developing mental toughness and resilience.
  • Athletes can monitor their mood and identify situations that boost or hinder their motivation, allowing them to adjust their strategies accordingly.

Tailored Training and Recovery Strategies:

  • Coaches can leverage I-PANAS-SF data to tailor training sessions and recovery strategies based on an athlete’s emotional profile. For instance, an athlete experiencing high negative affect may benefit from relaxation techniques or additional recovery time.

Integrating Mental Skills Training:

  • Athletes can use I-PANAS-SF results to identify areas for improvement and integrate mental skills training, such as visualization, mindfulness, or goal-setting, into their preparation routines.

Enhanced Self-Awareness:

  • By regularly engaging with the I-PANAS-SF, athletes develop heightened self-awareness. This awareness empowers them to proactively manage their emotional states, fostering resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges.

Improved Team Dynamics:

  • In team sports, understanding the emotional states of individual players contributes to building a cohesive and supportive team environment. Coaches can use I-PANAS-SF insights to foster effective communication and collaboration among team members.


The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule I-PANAS-SF serves as a powerful tool for athletes and coaches alike, offering a streamlined and effective way to assess emotional experiences in the context of sports performance. By integrating I-PANAS-SF into training routines, athletes can enhance their self-awareness, optimize emotional well-being, and ultimately unlock their full potential on the field or court. Coaches, armed with valuable insights from I-PANAS-SF assessments, can tailor their coaching strategies to create an environment that fosters both athletic success and overall well-being. In the pursuit of excellence, the I-PANAS-SF stands as a beacon, guiding athletes and coaches toward a more comprehensive understanding of the intricate relationship between emotions and sports performance.

SELFLOOPS has integrated the International Positive and Negative Affect Schedule Short Form (I-PANAS-SF) on the website and smartphone applications.


Thompson, E. R. (2007). Development and Validation of an Internationally Reliable Short-Form of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 38(2), 227-242. DOI:

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

Sport Nutrition: A Must-Read Book by Asker Jeukendrup and Michael Gleeson

In the world of sports and fitness, nutrition plays a pivotal role in achieving optimum performance and health. That’s why the book on Sport Nutrition by Asker Jeukendrup and Michael Gleeson is a game changer for anyone interested in this field. This book stands out for its rigorous, science-based approach, effectively debunking numerous myths and unfounded recommendations that often circulate in the fitness world.

Why This Book is a Must-Read The authors have meticulously gathered and analyzed scientific evidence, presenting it in a way that’s both accessible and practical. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or just starting your journey towards a healthier lifestyle, this book provides invaluable insights.

The 4th edition of this insightful book is set to be released in June 2024. It promises to be an updated, comprehensive guide, further enriching your understanding of sports nutrition.

A Key Takeaway on Exercise and Nutrition for Body-Fat Loss One of the many gems in this book addresses a common question: “What sort of exercise is best for body-fat loss?” The authors suggest that the key lies in aerobic exercises performed at an intensity close to your maximal fat oxidation rate. For most, this means exercising at about 55%-65% of VO2max (or 60%-80% of your maximum heart rate), depending on your aerobic fitness level. Moreover, the book emphasizes that the duration and frequency of exercise sessions are just as important as the type of exercise you choose.

Final Thoughts Combining exercise with correct nutrition is not just a strategy for body-fat loss; it’s a holistic approach to better health and fitness. This book, with its scientific backing and practical advice, is an essential read for anyone serious about understanding and applying the principles of sports nutrition.

The Polarization Index (P.I.)

Endurance athletes and coaches often talk about polarized vs. non-polarized training. But what does this actually mean, and how can you quantify whether a training program is polarized or not? A new metric called the polarization index (PI) aims to provide some clarity.

The polarization index is a simple calculation that looks at the distribution of your training time or distance across three intensity zones:

  • Zone 1: Low intensity
  • Zone 2: Medium intensity
  • Zone 3: High intensity

To determine the PI

PI = log10(((Zone 1 / Zone 2 )* Zone 3) * 100)

If your PI is greater than 2.00, your training distribution is considered polarized. This means the majority of your training volume is spent in Zone 1, with less emphasis on Zones 2 and 3. Non-polarized training distributes volume more evenly across the three zones.

Research has shown that elite endurance athletes tend to follow a polarized training model. Their high volume of low intensity training allows them to absorb the hard workouts and adapt to get stronger. But what PI is ideal? There is no perfect number, as it depends on your specific sport and goals. The PI simply quantifies your polarization.

So in summary, the polarization index is an easy way to calculate whether your training is polarized or not based on time or distance in three intensity zones. It provides an objective measure you can track over time as you refine your training plan for optimal performance. Give it a try!

You can find the PI index in the activity analysis and in the calendar view of the SELFLOOPS website.


Treff, G., Winkert, K., Sareban, M., Steinacker, J. M., & Sperlich, B. (2019). The Polarization-Index: A Simple Calculation to Distinguish Polarized From Non-polarized Training Intensity Distributions. Frontiers in physiology10, 707.

Unlock Your Athletic Potential: Training in Zone 2 and Comparing Polarized and Pyramidal Training

For athletes, maximizing sports performance is the ultimate goal. Achieving peak performance involves a combination of dedication, discipline, and employing intelligent training methods.

One crucial aspect of training that often gets overlooked is understanding and harnessing your training zones.

At Selfloops, we’ve incorporated the Time in Zones charts that empower athletes and coaches to track and analyze the time spent in different training intensity zones (based on heart rate, power, or speed).

You can visualize the Time in Zones for various types of activities or as a cumulative measure across all activities performed. Additionally, you can customize the start and end dates for these charts.

In this blog post, we will delve into the concepts of training in Zone 2 and explore the differences between the polarized and pyramidal approaches to zone training. Our aim is to equip you with the tools needed to optimize your athletic journey.

The Importance of Training Zones

Endurance coaches, athletes, and scientists devote considerable effort to determining the ideal blend of training session intensity, duration, and frequency to achieve desired physiological adaptations in athletes and to maximize their performance during key competitions. This process, known as training periodization, involves varying these variables throughout a training cycle.

To deepen our understanding of training analysis, a range of training intensity zones has been identified. These zones are determined by physiological metrics such as lactate threshold, ventilatory thresholds, percentage of maximum oxygen uptake, percentage of maximum heart rate, or subjective criteria like perceived exertion levels.

The concept of training intensity distribution (TID) refers to the amount of time an athlete spends in different training intensity zones during an exercise. These zones provide structure to workouts and ensure that you train at the right intensity to effectively achieve your goals.

Zone 2: The Foundation for Athletes

One of the most critical training zones for athletes is Zone 2.

Zone 2 is commonly referred to as the aerobic zone. It represents a moderate intensity level where your body primarily relies on aerobic metabolism, utilizing oxygen to produce energy. Zone 2 concludes at the first aerobic threshold, such as the first ventilatory threshold or lactate threshold.

Zone 2 training is essentially about elevating your heart rate sufficiently and maintaining it for an extended duration to build aerobic fitness without reaching the point where you gasp for breath. It is the intensity level where you start to notice a shift in your breathing patterns. A simple way to identify your aerobic threshold, without a lab test, is when you transition from speaking comfortably in extended paragraphs to only managing short sentences. At this stage, you are still relatively comfortable, and you could likely sustain this effort for an extended period, although it is important to recognize that you are indeed engaged in meaningful exertion. This training is also known as aerobic training or base training.

Benefits of Training in Zone 2

  • Improved Aerobic Capacity: Zone 2 training enhances your body’s efficiency in utilizing oxygen, enabling you to sustain exercise for longer durations, ultimately leading to better endurance in your chosen sport.
  • Enhanced Fat Utilization: Training in Zone 2 encourages your body to burn fat for fuel, which can aid in weight management and benefit long-duration events where carbohydrate stores may become depleted.
  • Reduced Risk of Overtraining: Zone 2 training is generally low in intensity, making it an excellent choice for active recovery or lighter training days. This helps prevent overtraining, reducing the risk of injuries and burnout.

Polarized vs. Pyramidal Approaches to Zone Training

Two popular training approaches that utilize training intensity distributions are the polarized and pyramidal methods. Let’s delve into these concepts in more detail below.

In this context, we consider the training intensity distribution based on three training zones: Z1 (below the first ventilatory threshold VT1), Z2 (between the first and the second ventilatory threshold VT2), and Z3 (above the second ventilatory threshold).

Polarized Training:

Polarized training is a method that emphasizes spending the majority of your training time at low intensity, with the remaining time dedicated to high intensity. It places less emphasis on the intensity zone between the two extremes (low and high intensity). This approach aims to maximize the benefits of both low-intensity aerobic development and high-intensity anaerobic power. In Polarized training, the intensity distribution is characterized by the highest percentage of time spent in Z1, a smaller yet relatively high percentage in Z3, and only a small portion of training in Z2.

In Polarized training Z1 > Z3 > Z2

Typically, it involves around 80% of training at low intensity (Z1), 5% at middle intensity (Z2), and 15% at high intensity (Z3).

Benefits of Polarized Training:

  • Improved aerobic capacity and anaerobic power.
  • Enhanced recovery due to the abundance of low-intensity training.

Pyramidal Training:

Pyramidal training, in contrast, places more emphasis on a balanced distribution across intensity zones. When considering three intensity zones (low, middle, high), pyramidal training allocates the most time to the first zone, with progressively less time spent in the other zones. The pyramidal training intensity distribution is characterized by a higher percentage of training time in Z1, less in Z2, and even less in Z3.

In a Pyramidal Training Z1> Z2 > Z3

Typically, it involves around 80% of training at low intensity (Z1), 15% at middle intensity (Z2), and 5% at high intensity (Z3).

This approach provides a well-rounded foundation for overall fitness and can be particularly beneficial for athletes who engage in various sports or events.

Benefits of Pyramidal Training:

  • A balanced approach addressing multiple aspects of fitness.
  • Suitable for athletes with diverse training goals.
  • Reduced risk of overemphasizing a single energy system.


Understanding your training zones and incorporating Zone 2 training into your routine can significantly enhance your sports performance. Whether you choose the polarized or pyramidal approach, both methods offer their advantages and can help you achieve your athletic objectives. Remember that consistency and personalized training are key; what works best for one athlete may not be the ideal strategy for another. Consulting with a coach or sports scientist to tailor your training zones and methods to your specific needs is crucial, allowing you to witness your athletic performance reach new heights.


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  • Iñigo San Millán Zone 2 Link
  • Deep dive back into Zone 2 Training with Iñigo San-Millán link
  • SimplaVida, Zone 2 Training
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