KINE 4520 Lecture Notes - Wayne Gretzky, Automatic Negative Thoughts, Vince Carter
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KINE 4520 May 9, 2011
Does a s distinct elite athletic personality profile exist?
Do people choose a sport based on their personality?
What motivates an athlete to engage in a fight to the death?
Are star athletes born or made?
Plato - believed highest level of success was predetermined
Aristotle - success is gained through training and learning
Ericsson -- researched the value of persistence and hard work at ___ state university
Natural Talent Myth
Expert performance in sport is typically the result of deliberate practice, as opposed to
natural inborn talent. (Ericsson, 2003)
-Ericsson found that the people we believe are natural talents have been practicing most
of their lives and practice 3-5 hours per day, more is too much (burn out) e.g. Lebron
James. Prof. talks about Wayne Gretszky and rushing to get dressed to go on ice early
to warm-up for warm-up and others from the team followed. Some argue that the reason
Wayne Gretszky, Serena williams, Lebron James have a protein in their brain
that(BDNF) allows them to learn a skill quicker than average allowing for more
confidence and gaining risks and pick up things earlier than the rest of us.
Can successful athletic performance be predicted on the basis of personality or
intelligence assessment? Most evidence show that this is not accurate but one single
event has been built up in the press as evidence that psychological test in predicts
athletic success. Two football players Peton Manning and Ryan Leaf - both really good
university quarterbacks. On an aptitude test Peyton Manning scored better on the
Wonderlick test and he was chosen by professional team. It happens that he did well.
But the test has shown that it is a very poor predictor of success. In 1995 quarterbacks
chosen in the 1st round draft. So those who were “smarter” and scored higher on the
test are supposed to be a better quarterback. It’s a myth that the smarter you are the
better you are as an athlete.
Thomas Tutko published Athletic Motivation INventory (AMI)
predicts athletic success based upon personality
Over 1,000 published studies have shown an inconclusive relationship. Why? It was
published as a book so people believed it although there was no evidence.
Performance is determined by...
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KINE 4520 May 9, 2011
Genetics (includes a predisposition to behave a certain way, but it is also influenced by
1.Psychodynamic Theory - all behaviour stems from conflict and compromise (ID, EGO,
SUPEREGO -- because in conflict this predicts our personality). Psychological energy is
to be directed toward socially acceptable activities such as sport. The discharge of this
energy is “cathartic” (Sigmund Freud). There is little evidence to date but becoming
popular again in psychology
2.Social Learning Theory - an individual behaves based on how he/she was taught to
behave. Modeling - learn through observations. Reinforcement - rewarding behaviours
(Albert Bandura). e.g. parents pat children on back after a desired behaviour then more
likely to try to do it again.
3.Humanistic Theory - innate drive to enhance ourselves. Each person’s experience,
beliefs, and values are emphasized. Athletes participation in sport should be viewed as
personal growth. (Abraham Maslow). OCEAN
Openness - being curious original open to new ideas.
Conscientiousness - being organized, systematics, and achievement oriented
Extraversion - being outoing, talkative, and Sociable
Agreeableness - being affacble, tolerant, sensitive, trusting
Neuroticism - being anxious, irritable, temperamental. So their are some traits related
to team cohesion and leadership. outofservice.com/bigfive.
Still important to identify traits but not for team selections. Conscientiousness and
extraversion are most likely to be a team captain or a coach than the other factors
(strongest predictors of athletic leadership). SO they are only predictors of potential for
leadership not actual. Conscientiousness and agreeableness are related to higher levels
of task cohesion. So it is okay to have conflict amongst team. It doesn’t mean they aren’t
affable if they challenge each other in a polite way.
4.Psychological Dispositions -- (Anshel 2003) writes that these are better predictors
than personality traits. “An athlete’s tendency to exhibit patterns of thinking, feeling, and
performing in particular types of circumstances”. Disposition include: confidence, coping
style, optimism. Dispositions more accurately describe successful athletes than do
personality traits. (A trait is more likely not to change than disposition -- but this belief if
also changing. Confidence etc. are all changeable and personality traits are not easy to
change. “Energy Sapper” - is one with markedly different personality characteristics
than the rest of the team (Eys 2007) (e.g vince carter). Research shows that if a single
member of the team is low on conscientiousness, this can disrupt a teams task
processes. (Profs. suggestions -- am I going to let this bother me if i know it’s wrong.
Will I let them rent out space in my head and keep me awake at night? Let it go and
don’t fume about it). “Personality and psychological testing can play an important role in
plater development” (Cox, 2006). We should never use them to determine if will accept
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