I am going to be writing about the effects on personality and motivation on sports performance.
Personality and the potential effects it can have on sports participation and sports performance have been of interest to sport psychologists and researchers since the late 1800s. however evidence on weather personality affects sports performance is still fairly limited and inconclusive.
There are a number of theories and approaches that have been suggested to try to explain personality and how it can influence sports performance. The main theories you will look at are:
• Marten’s Schematic View
• the Psychodynamic Theory
• Trait Theory
• Situational Approach
• Interactional Approach.
Marten’s schematic view
In this view, personality is seen as having three different levels that are related to each other:
• psychological core
• typical responses
• role-related behaviour.
The psychological core is what people often call the real you and is the part of you that contains your beliefs, values, attitudes and interests; these aspects are seen as being relatively constant or stable. Typical responses are the usual ways that you respond to the world around you or different situations you may find yourself in. For example, you may always get angry and shout after being intentionally fouled in football because you feel that deliberate fouls are un-sporting behaviour, but you may be quiet and shy when you meet people for the first time because you don’t want to overawe them. These are your typical responses to these situations and are often seen as good indicators of your psychological core.
Your role-related behaviour is often determined by the circumstances you find yourself in and this is the most changeable aspect of personality. Put simply, your personality changes as your perception of your environment changes. For example, in the same day you might be captaining your college sports team where you show a lot of leadership behaviours, then working as an employee at your part-time job where you will have to follow a lot of instructions.
The psychodynamic approach to personality says that personality is made up of conscious and unconscious parts. The first part is called the ‘id’ which stands for instinctive drive. It is the part of your personality that is unconscious and makes you do certain things without thinking about them, for example, a sprinter on the start line in the Olympic final may feel so threatened by the expectations upon them that they respond with large levels of anxiety and their muscles automatically freeze. The second part of your personality, your ego is the conscious part. The final part is your super ego, which is your moral conscience. The effect of the ego and super ego can be seen in sport when a football player refuses to take a penalty in a penalty shoot out because they are worried about missing and letting their team down. Rather than just looking at different parts of personality, the psychodynamic approach tries to understand the individual as a whole. This approach is not often used in sport as it focuses on the reasons for behaviour that come from within the individual and tends to ignore the athlete’s environment. However, this theory is useful when sport psychologists try to explain behaviour as it helps us to understand that not all behaviour is under the conscious control of athletes.
Trait theories suggest that individuals have certain characteristics that will partly determine how they behave. Traits are relatively stable aspects of personality and early trait theorists like Eysenck and Cattell argued that traits were mainly inherited.
There are two main dimensions to personality:
• an introversion–extroversion dimension
• a stable–neurotic dimension.
Introverts are individuals who don’t actively seek excitement and would rather be in calm environments. They tend to prefer tasks that require concentration