Exercise 6.1 to 6.8
6.2) Imagine the following scenario: The college basketball team has just lost an important game leading up to the
play-offs. The players and the head coach are in the dressing room and the coach clearly shows his displeasure for
the team’s performance. In his anger he verbally strikes out at one of his players, pointing out how badly he
played and ridiculing his lack of shooting skills and defensive effort? Is this a form of psychological aggression?
What are the likely reactions of the victim and his/her teammates?
I feel that this scenario is closer to instrumental aggression. Instrumental aggression involves intent to injure, but the
primary goal is a “means to an end” rather than an end in itself. In the above scenario, the coach is the aggressor, and the
aggressor, who is angry, is willing to hurt other people in order to attain his goal. In this case, the goal is to out the blame on
someone other than himself for the loss of the game. The coach has a need to put the blame on someone else in order to
justify the loss, so he will not be blamed for bad coaching, or other factors.
From this scenario, it is clear that the coach needs to get a handle on his aggression, as taking it out on his players will
decrease their self-confidence as well as self-esteem. If I were this victim, I would be very insulted and hurt by what the
coach has said and would view the coach in a negative way from then on. My self-esteem and self-confidence would take a
hit from the hurtful words of the coach and because of this, I would no longer want to play In front of this coach again, as I
would be constantly fearing what he would be thinking, or worrying when the next time I would be reprimanded for my
actions. If it were to happen again, I may even consider transferring teams or taking an issue up with the company who has
hired the coach in order to fix the problem.
If I were a teammate of this victim, I would view the coach’s behaviour as appalling. I would like to think that I would
stand up for the person being verbally abused and tell the coach that “we had an off day” and that it wasn’t that specific
person’s fault. I would also be worried about performing well in other games in fear of what the coach would do after, and
like I mentioned above, would think about taking it up with the company who hired the coach in order to get the whole thing
sorted out. Athletes should not be reprimanded for a loss especially if it is not their fault.
6.3) Why do you think males differed so widely from females in endorsing these different sport competition
situations? What are some of the different ways in which males vs. females express aggression? Have you
personally experienced aggression/violence either as a victim/aggressor in sport?
In the past, most of the research examining aggression in sport has been primarily in male athletes, this is not to say that
female aggression in sport doesn’t happen, it is just much less researched. From youn