Sport psychological skills profile of 14– and 15–year old sport participants in Tlokwe Municipality : the PAHL–Study
Du Plessis, Elsje Susanna
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The importance of sport psychological skills (SPSs) is emphasised by numerous previous literature findings which show that the integration of SPSs with physical training leads to the development of adolescent sport participants and subsequently the enhancement of sport performance. A vast number of SPSs exist that could have an influence on a sport participant‟s performance. In order to efficiently develop the SPSs of sport participants it is important to acknowledge their specific individual needs. Furthermore, gender and the type of sport also play an integral role in participants‟ use of SPSs. The main purpose of the present study was firstly to determine which SPSs discriminate significantly between male and female adolescents in a South African context, and secondly to determine which SPSs discriminate significantly between individual and team adolescent sport participants in a South African context. A convenience sample of 211 grade 9 pupils (14-15 years of age) from six different primary schools, two from a high socio-economic background, Potchefstroom city area, and four from a low socio-economic background, Ikageng Township area, were included in the study. Participants completed the Physical Activity and Training Habit questionnaire as well as the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28) questionnaire under the supervision of a sport psychological consultant. The results from the first purpose of this study showed non-significant differences between the SPSs of the males and the females, where the males obtained slightly higher averages in seven of the eight psychological skill variables compared to the females. Only one SPS variable (freedom from worry), however, showed a statistically significant difference where the males obtained a higher average value than the females. The results from the second purpose showed that individual sport participants (ISPs) obtained higher mean scores in seven of the eight SPSs that were measured compared to team sport participants (TSPs). However, none of the subscale differences proved to be statistically significant, with a small practical significance. In conclusion it is clear that 14-15 year old adolescent sport participants showed similar tendencies regarding their SPSs than what was found in other studies. However, the differences in our study population have not yet reached significant levels and therefore the sport participants can be treated as a homogeneous group when psychological skills training (PST) programs are applied. The findings can contribute to a better understanding of the SPS use of sport participants from different genders, sporting codes and the development of PST programs of the different sport participants, which could assist coaches in the holistic development of adolescent sport participants.
- Health Sciences