What Psychological Factors Have Been Found To Impact Olympic Level Performance? Barry University Research Paper

1320 words - 6 pages

Running head: RESEARCH REVIEW 5
What Psychological Factors Have Been Found to Impact Olympic-Level Performance?
Stacia Ming
Barry University
What Psychological Factors Have Been Found to Impact Olympic-Level Performance?
Participating in the Olympic Games is most often considered the peak of an athletic career and also an achievement for every professional athlete. Participating in one Olympic Games is four – year cycle of hard work that makes a unique event for athletes. However, setting aside the magnitude of the event, competing in the Olympics has an extraordinary impact on athletes before, during, and after the event. Thus, to achieve success at the Olympics, it is that there are a number of external and internal factors that may influence on athlete´s performance (Fletcher & Sarkar, 2012). In view of those factors, sport psychology researchers have stated some specific psychological influences that have impact on competitive performance, regarding Olympic success, those factors are, personality, relationship between athletes and coaches, and social media.
First, personality has been stated as “the relatively enduring patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that reflect the tendency to respond in certain ways under certain circumstances” (Roberts, 2009, p.140). Fletcher and Sarkar (2012) describe that numerous positive personality characteristics Olympians possess, such as being open to new experiences, extrovert, optimistic, good stress management skills, resilience, innovative, on focused, and self- confident, all of them affects perception of the situation that athletes have to face. The results come from the data collection of some interview from 12 Olympic champions which consisted of a questionnaire related to the impact of psychological resilience and optimal sport performance. Comparably, Woodman and Hardy (2003) stated that the majority of Olympic medalists possessed extremely high levels of self- confidence, especially at the pinnacle of their careers.
Jones et al. (2002) during their research identified twelve mental toughness attributes by conducting interviews with 10 athletes from a variety of sports that represented England in the Commonwealth or Olympic Games. Results revealed that some examples of those mental toughness attributes are, having an unshakable belief in oneself that affords the capacity needed to beat opponents, the ability to achieve goals, to be highly motivated, to respond under pressure, not to be negatively affected by the performance of others, to be able to focus on the competitive demands, and to accept pain during training and competition (Gould & Maynard, 2009).
Secondly, Birrer, Wetzel, Schmid and Morgan (2012) identified the importance of the relationship between athletes and their coaches. The coach must believe in the athletes’ ability to achieve his or her objectives for the athlete coach relationship to be successful. Thus, Phillipe and Seiler (2006) interviewed f...


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