1 Those relatively stable and enduring aspects of individuals which
distinguish them from other people. Its their characteristics which make
1.1 Trait Theories
1.1.1 Represent the Nature approach.
Suggest we are born with
inherited characteristics which
don't alter over time and which
cause us to react in a similar
fashion irrespective of the
situation. Traits are seen to be
stable and enduring.
184.108.40.206 However the identification of
personality traits may be useful to a
coach in order to highlight potential
difficulties an individual might
encounter, and employ strategies to
reduce any negative behaviour
patterns that might arise.
1.1.2 This theory would allow us to
predict behaviour patterns in all
situations. It would help identify
potential performers who could
cope with the pressure of intense
competition without becoming over
aroused or aggressive.
1.1.3 Traits are measure using questionnaires.
However patterns may alter from situation
to situation. So using traits to predict
personality is unreliable. And there are no
common traits when trying to classify the
characteristics required to perform at elite
1.1.4 Criticisms include: Its too
simplistic, doesn't account for
personality changing over time,
doesn't account for environmental
or situational factors, they aren't
an accurate predictor of sporting
preference, and they have a
limited value as a predictor of
2 Hollanders Structure of Personality
2.1 Role Related Behaviours
2.1.1 Refers to our behaviour at
any given time depending on
the specific circumstances
and our perception at that
time. Its the most changeable
aspect of our personality.
Might not be a true reflection
of our psychological core.
2.2 Typical Responses
2.2.1 Represents our usual
response to a situation
which is often learned. It
can be a good indicator of
the psychological core.
E.g. one may react to a
defeat by training harder
and viewing the
experience in a positive
someone else may let it
get the better of them.
2.3 Psychological Core
2.3.1 Described as the
'real you'. It
attitudes and self
worth, all of
tend to be
3 Narrow Band Approach
3.1 Recognises two distinct personality
3.1.1 Type A. Highly competitive,
strong desire to succeed, works
fast, likes to control, prone to
3.1.2 Type B. Non-competitive,
unambitious, works more slowly,
doesn't enjoy control, less prone to
220.127.116.11 Sven Goran Eriksson.
He is more of a
strategist, taking his
time to work through
things. As a result he
works more slowly
and is less prone to
18.104.22.168 Anna Kournikova.
She appears to be
less competitive as
she concentrates on
rather than tennis.
4 Cattell's Theory - 16 Personality Factors
4.1 Personality can be profiled into 16 categories which gives a
more accurate picture of peoples characteristics and
behaviour patterns. He measured these traits using the
16PF questionnaire, but accepted that responses may be
different each time depending on motivation, mood and
5 Eysenck's Personality Dimensions
5.1 Suggested that individuals possess stable
traits based on two broad dimensions which
are derived from biological factors.
5.1.1 Extravert-Introvert Dimension.
Assumes that individuals attempt
to maintain a certain level of
arousal suitable for them. This
level of arousal is controlled by the
Reticular Activating System.
22.214.171.124 Introvert. Needs less
arousal and stimulation
as their RAS is already
will cause them to
become over aroused.
126.96.36.199 Extravert. Needs more
arousal and stimulation as the
RAS inhibits info received via
the sensory system. It needs
extra stimulation to maintain
optimum levels of attention.
5.1.2 Stable-Neurotic Dimension.
Based on emotionality and
the reaction of the autonomic
nervous system to stressful
188.8.131.52 Stable. Individuals
tend to possess a
fairly slow and less
vigorous response to
have a rapid
5.1.3 The two personality
independent of each
other and an
individual can be a
combination of the
5.1.4 Psychotism-Intelligence was
later added. This relates to
how far a person is prepared
to conform to society's rules
184.108.40.206 It was later claimed that
most elite performers
possessed stable, extravert
claims included: extroverts
would be more likely to play
high action sports. Stable
indiviudals were more likely
to participate in sport
compared to the general
population. Introverts would
be drawn to individual
activities. However none of
this has been proved
6 Interactionist Approach
6.1 Proposes that personality is a mixture
of inherited traits and a person's current
situation. It was proposed by Bowers. It
possesses greater validity as it explains
why we alter our behaviour from one
moment to the next. Its a combination of
Trait Theory and Social Learning
6.2 The dominance of either
the personality or the
situation depends on their
specific relative strength
at that time.
6.2.1 For example, if the situational
factors are strong, such as in a
highly competitive match with a high
extrinsic reward for success, these
factors may be more influential on
behaviour than personality.
6.3 Lewin B= F
6.4 Someones behaviour
may change due to a
crowd, or significant
other watching, who the
match or performance
is against, and how
important the final
6.5 The coach will use this approach and
attempt to identify characteristic behaviour
patterns in specific situations. For example
if a player becomes over aroused or
aggressive in the final stages of a match,
various stress management techniques can
be developed. Or attempts can be made to
alter behaviour patterns if they can pinpoint
specific situations that have a negative
impact on them.
7 Measurement of Personality
7.1 The two main ways of measuring personality is through
observations or questionnaires. Self Report Q's such as
the EPI, Cattells 16PF and the AMI are widely used
because they are easy to administer, collection of data is
straightforward, and large numbers can be
accommodated in s short space of time.
7.1.1 However they have been criticised because
they aren't really valid as there is no definition
of personality. Reliability can be questioned as
results may vary if repeated. Participants
response may be affected by their mood,
situation, attitude towards the test.
Respondents may lie and give more socially
accepted answers. Participants may not fully
understand the question. Possible response
answers such as 'yes' or 'no' may be too
limited. Respondents should be fully informed
about the questionnaire and made aware that
they can withdraw at any time.
7.2 More psychologists now use
more sport specific objective
questionnaires such as the Sport
Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT)
and the Competitive State
Anxiety Inventory (CSAI-2) as
they provide more reliable
7.3 Observation techniques
involve the performers
behaviour being recorded in
specific situations over a
period of time. A personality
profile can be constructed
then. This method is useful
however its time
7.4 Interviews can also be used, with a series of questions
devised to reflect behaviour patterns in different situations.
the Q's could be similar to the ones found in the EPI. The
major problems with this method is the same for that of
8 Profile of Mood States
8.1 Morgan (1979) mood states are more useful in the identification of
successful athletes. Rather than stable personality traits being the
most important factor, mood states are temporary and change with
the situation. This could be seen as a better predictor of performance
8.3 Morgan compared the mood states
of various performers and
suggested that to be a successful
performer the score of vigour should
be high, whilst tension, depression,
fatigue and confusion scores should
8.3.1 Known as the Iceberg Profile.
8.4 There has been extensive research to support
this suggestion. There is evidence demonstrating
that it's possible to reach elite level without
displaying the Iceberg profile. Others have
mentioned that as success is achieved this
contributes to a positive self image, high
confidence levels, and positive mood states.
9 Personality and Sporting Performance
9.1 Key factors are; No clear link between personality type and success in sport, No
clear link between personality and the choice of sport, Personality can be
affected by the situation and the environment.
10 Theory of Achievement Motivation
10.1 Attempts to link personality with competitiveness and to
explain why a performer may behave in a specific manner
when faced with a particular task.
10.2 McCelland and Atkinson viewed AM as a stable aspect of personality. They
suggested we all have two underlying motives when placed in a situation where
some form of evaluation takes place.
10.2.1 The Need to Achieve
10.2.1.1 They will display the
a sense of pride from
completion of the task,
attribute performance to
internal factors, prepared
to take ricks, enjoy being
evaluated, they don't
mind if they fail.
10.2.1.2 Will tend to have a higher
motive to achieve, tend to
have approach behaviour
10.3 The Need to Avoid Failure
10.3.1 they will display the
attempt to avoid
about failure, avoid
situations with a 50/50
chance of success,
choose tasks which
are very easy or very
external factors, their
performance tends to
being evaluated, they
give up easily.
10.3.2 Tend to have a
higher motive to
avoid failure, will
10.4 When faced with a competitive
situation we make a decision
based on the relative strengths
of aspects of our personality.
10.4.1 Achievement Motivation
= Desire to Succeed -
Fear of Failure.
10.5 Level of achievement is a combination of
personality and an evaluation of the situational
10.5.1 Two Aspects; the probability of success, the
incentive value of the success.
10.5.1.1 Expressed as:
Succeed - Motive
to avoid Failure) x
of Success -
10.6 Evaluation Points. Its most useful
when the task involves a 50/50 chance
of success, 'Success' may mean
different things for individuals,
Measuring achievement motivation
using attitudes and anxiety scales may
be unreliable, Achievement Motivation
isn't a global concept, No clear
relationship between achievement
motivation and performance has been
established, however it is useful when
attempting to predict long-term
11 Achievement Goal Theory
11.1 Suggests a performers level of achievement motivation will differ depending on
the reasons for his or her participation, the goals set and the relative meanings of
11.1.1 Outcome Goal. A goal that is set to judge
the performance of an individual against
others and the end result. If the goal is
realistic and within the performers
capability, and they achieve the aim,
motivation and feelings of pride and
self-esteem are increased. However it
can be demotivating if the performer is
unsuccessful, especially after repeated
attempts. The performer may feel shame
and attribute the failure to their own
ability, causing them to adopt avoidance
behaviour patterns in the future.
11.2 Task-Orientated Goal. A
goal that is used to judge
the performance of the
individual against their
own standards, rather than
in comparison with
competitors. Foe example
with a cyclist this could
include; applying the
tactics as agreed with the
coach, using effective
how close they were to a
11.3 If the goal is realistic, the performer
can evaluate their own actions, and
not worry about comparison with
others. This helps reduce anxiety,
allowing them to remain motivated.
This type of goal may be an effective
method of developing a performer's
approach behaviour and
encouraging a positive motive to
12 Developing Approach Behaviour
12.1 Provide positive childhood experiences, and encourage feelings of pride
12.2 Reduce punishment and negative feelings.
12.3 Gradually increase the task difficulty, but
ensure that challenging tasks are set.
12.4 Cater for all levels of ability.
12.5 Raising levels of self efficacy and
avoiding Learned Helplessness.
12.6 set appropriate goals.
12.7 Consider cultural differences.
12.8 Use attributions correctly.
12.9 Provide encouragement from significant others.