UBC Theses and Dissertations
A psychological study of soccer players, ages nine, twelve and fifteen years Rizzardo, Marc R.
The purposes of the study were to determine if a characteristic psychological profile exists for soccer players at the ages of nine, twelve and fifteen years; to determine if psychological profiles differed between elite and recreational soccer players; and to determine if these differences between the elite and recreational soccer players were constant across the same ages mentioned above. In attempting to identify a psychological profile for elite soccer players at the ages of nine, twelve, and fifteen years, it was hypothesized that: 1. (a) The elite athlete demonstrates levels of higher emotional stability, tough-mindedness, aggressiveness, dominance, persistence, self-confidence and a tendency toward extraversion, than the recreational soccer playing individuals. (b) The elite athlete shows a higher self-concept than the recreational soccer playing individuals. (c) The elite athlete shows a lower sport competitive trait anxiety level than the recreational soccer playing individual. (d) The elite athlete shows a more internal locus of control of reinforcement than the recreational soccer playing individuals. 2. The magnitude of the difference between the elite and recreational soccer playing individuals with respect to psychological variables, increases as age increases. The Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale, Martens' Sport Competitive Anxiety Test, the Nowicki-Strickland Children's Locus of Control Scale and either Cattell's Children's Personality Questionnaire (ages 8-12) or Cattell's High. School Personality Questionnaire (ages 12-16) were administered to 136 male soccer players that participated in the Vancouver and District Soccer League (elite) or the Vancouver Community League (recreational). The data of the six personality traits hypothesized to distinguish the elite athlete (emotional stability, toughmindedness, aggressiveness, dominance, persistence, self—confidence) were analyzed in separate multivariate and univariate analyses of variance from the data received from the three psycho-social components - locus of control, self-concept, and sport competitive anxiety. The results did not identify a specific psychological profile for elite male soccer players at the ages of nine, twelve, and fifteen. Therefore no statistical support was given to the premise that there is an identifiable relationship between personality and participation in the Vancouver and District Soccer League. The elite soccer players did express a higher sport competitive anxiety, along with a higher self-concept score in the two sub-scales, popularity and physical development. However, these results were not sufficient to support the premise that there was a psychological difference between the elite and recreational players. It was recommended that sport specific psychological questionnaires be developed and used for future endeavors in identifying psychological profiles of athletes. A second recommendation was that a longitudinal study be done on young athletes, so that the psychological development of the individual could be monitored more accurately.
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