Demographic data and sports of respondents are presented (Table 1).
Table 2 gives the absolute and relative frequencies of participants knowing each included mental technique (knowledge). Approximately, 96 % of participants reported their knowledge about at least one mental technique.
Only 13 participants reported to have used mental techniques for regeneration after an injury/SAI. Therefore, we focused on the use of mental techniques in preparation before competitions; henceforth “use of mental techniques” will refer exclusively to usage in this respect.
Usage of mental techniques is presented in table 3. A total of 17 participants refused to answer this question.
A significant increase of the probability of using mental techniques with increasing age was found [odds ratio (OR) = 1.101, confidence interval (CI) = (1.03, 1.18), p = 0.006]. Significantly more males than females reported to use mental techniques before competitions [OR = 3.25, 95 % CI = (1.36, 9.09), p = 0.017,
Further sociodemographic factors [partner status: p = 0.48, residency: p = 0.39, education: OR = 1.042, 95 % CI = (0.76, 1.42), p = 0.792] showed no significant associations with the use of mental techniques.
Significantly more users than none users of other spiritual practices used mental techniques [p < 0.001, OR = 0.14, 95 % CI = (0.06, 0.32), table 3].
In comparison to inexperienced athletes, a significantly higher percentage of the athletes experienced in using mental techniques in preparation for competitions believed in the effectiveness of mental techniques in the regeneration after injuries [88 % vs. 67 %, OR = 0.3, 95 % CI = (0.10,0.78), p = 0.02].
Variables influencing the usage of mental techniques in preparation for competitions like sex, residence, partnership status, kind of sport and affinity to spirituality are presented in Table 2. The variable “sport” had no significant influence on the tendency to use mental techniques (p = 0.81). Furthermore, no significant correlation between the probability of using mental techniques and the factors sports experience (years), total training time (hours/week), number of trainings, and number of competitions per week was found (OR = 0.97–1.16, p = 0.09–0.97).
Participants were classified into those suffering injuries and those who did not. Mental techniques were used by 30 % of all participants with at least one injury and by 16 % of all participants with no injury. The difference was not significant [OR = 2.21, 95 % CI = (0.91, 6.26), p = 0.14]. Fractures and ruptures were counted as severe injuries, and a new variable assuming value 1 for participants with at least one severe injury in the past and 0 otherwise was defined. Out of all participants without a severe injury, 23 % used mental techniques, whereas 32 % of all patients with at least one severe injury used mental techniques. This difference was not found to be significant [OR = 1.49, 95 % CI = (0.74, 2.99), p = 0.34].