Rui Jorge Veloso1
Fabien Pereira Silva3
Maria Isabel Caldas Januário Fragoso2
Manuel Ferreira Conceição Botelho1
Agata Cristina Marques Aranha3
1Faculdade de Desporto da Universidade do Porto, Portugal
2Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal
3Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
The aim of this study is to compare the psychological point of view of different groups of judokas with different levels of sports performance and identify the differences between the different categories of weight and gender, as well as compare the values found in this study variables those of similar studies values in other populations. For this study were investigated 49 junior judokas of both sexes. Most of them belonged to the national team. To investigate these variables were applied the following tests: SCAT and TEOSQ, all of these variables were analyzed using a statistical test ANOVA analysis (analysis of variance) was applied homogeneity of variance and the result through the post-hoc test ( Tukey) at p> 0.05. Judokas, both mixed and male group, has a lower value in Self-Concept compared to other populations studied. Although the values obtained, we believe that promoting sports environments for organized sports activities (including martial arts) have a positive influence on the perception of psychological well-being, with benefits for the athletes’ self-concept and cognitive development.
Keywords: sports psychology; self knowledge; judokas
Psychology studies the psychic/mental phenomena, its genesis and development, personality and its features as well as the psychological particularities of human’s activity. Sensations, perceptions, representations, imagination, thoughts, emotions, desires, memory and attention are all integrated in the psychic processes. This set constitutes the so called psyche or human’s conscience(E. e K., 2001). The set of stimulus which a sportsman undergoes, promotes an adaptation process with consequences in his answers’ pattern, taking the form of physical, technical-tactical or psychological expressions(Serpa, 1997).
One of the researched aspects, which has concluded as a determining variable of the sportsman’s behavior and emotions in the training and competition process, with influence in his performance, is the cognitive nature of his sporting orientation, in which, during this process, two extreme aspects stand out: the sports result and the performed task (Serpa, 1997). The competition is the moment of the process where the evaluation of the progress made occurs and in which all the sportsman’s dimensions gather, either in the performance or sporting results. For the sportsman, who has worked for his improvement, the sportive result is the sought expression.
According to (Vazou et al., 2005), one of the main theoretical frameworks used for the study of young people´s motivation and behavior in sport is the achievement gal theory. In a task-oriented motivational environment athletes acknowledge that the coach values the personal skills improvement, where mistakes are part of the learning process itself and athletes derive satisfaction from it. On the other side, in an ego-oriented motivational environment, and since satisfaction feelings depend on the way one compares with others, emphasis is given to the demonstration of the normative ability and competition with the others. Regarding the judgment of motor competence, young children (up to 10 years old) prefer adult´s feedback (Vazou et al., 2005). Later on, at the end of childhood and early adolescence, the main information source of competence is the comparison with others athletes and their feedback. In this study the authors have focused on the peer interaction and relationship and the role it can play in the formulation of the motivational environment induced by peers in the youth sports context. The authors mention that, literature on the structure and the consequences of observed motivational environment, such as school, sport, and Physical Education, has only focused the adults ‘influence, ignoring thus the potential impact of peers. The interviews conducted in this study allowed the ascertainment of how young athletes acknowledge and create a peer motivational environment. Observing peer relationships will allow a better comprehension of the various motivational environments (both adult and peer). A greater attention to the aspects of peers´ influence which promote or hinder young athletes´ motivation, will enable the modification of the existing peer motivational environment, in order to strengthen task related aspects. A future intervention should also promote equal treatment and discourage competition in the team, as well as conflicts between team members.
- (2001) points out some psychological features present in exceptional athletes: strength in his way to success, passion for the sporting discipline, emotional stability, mentally resistant, with, a positive attitude, realistic, focused, dedicated, persistent and competitive.
As far as sports are concerned, either in its educational or competitive sphere, it is important that coaches have information on the athletes ‘emotional level development (Hernández, 2011). It should be noted that emotional intelligence is a skill goal, which is latent in the individual but not possible to be observed, unless there are behavior manifestations towards a certain situation. In a study, in which the author questioned judo and karaté athletes by means of several questionnaires (social demographic – adaptation to Riffs well-being scale); physical self-concept (CAF); and others), information of the various studied areas has been engaged. The results have suggested that both the promotion of sports environments for the practice of martial arts and the organized sports activity have a positive influence in the young people´s perception of the psychological well-being, which influences their self-concept and cognitive development. The perception of execution goals´ control is very important for the improvement of the athlete´s competence perception, especially in educational stages. This perception of the own possibilities in achieving something will reinforce the self-confidence, increase the motivation and enable the creation of a gradually bigger and more adequate concentration during the various moments of competition. The author also mentions that the more adequate perceived competence, in what the emotional point of view is concerned, facilitate a better competitive performance.
Brito (1996) also presents the psychological factors common in world high level athletes: (1) high motivation to train, to win, to withstand effort or suffering (…); (2) ability to deal with the competitive goals and to distinguish the actions’ hierarchy leading to success (…); (3) when facing a defeat or a failure, he neither shows much concern, nor spends much time looking into the situation, or, if so, he does it quickly, without drama, pursuiting immediately after the defined goals (…) (4) he is not interested in blaming (or excusing) at random himself, the judges, the weather, the health, etc. (…); (5) has a high self esteem (…); (6) deals well with the problems to overcome, showing a kind of specific intelligence in view of victory (…); (7) manages to achieve good results with different techniques (…); (8) little sensitivity towards others, showing a certain indifference or a sense of superiority (…); (9) little anguish or anxiety when facing difficult situations (…); (10) ability to face and withstand suffering, the risk and pain to the limits (…); (11) high motivation and ability to recover from serious situations or accidents, showing a strong willpower (…).
Psychological preparation must be connected to the physical, technical and tactical preparation and should be performed both in the preparatory and competitive phases. Thus, the psychological techniques chosen by the coach must be integrated in the exercises practiced by the judoist in the referred phases (Blumenstein et al., 2005). As far stress and anxiety factors are concerned, it has been verified that situations caused by the pressure to win, may originate a performance fall by some judoists (Massa et al., 2010).
Some days before the beginning of important competitions, judoists start anticipating the competitive challenge (Blach e Szczuka, 2011). When competition day gets closer, athletes feel the stress accumulation. Depending on the mental stress, the body may send signs (named somatic stress) releasing thus the most energy. According to the majority of athletes and coaches, pre-competitive stress is definitely a negative factor, since it affects performance. Excessive stress can explain the failures during competition and the mistakes in the first combat, as well as neglected opportunities and results far lower than the athlete´s potential. Coaches may resort to very simple pre-competitive stress detection methods, which include the discrete observation of the athlete´s behavior. Stress control prior to the competitions does not aim the complete elimination of it, but to keep it on a level which allows the competitor to take the most advantages of his potential.
In a study carried out with Brazilian sportsmen (from Paraíba) of various areas, aged between 11 and 20, being the majority male, (Gonçalves e Belo, 2007) applied the Sport Competition Anxiety Test – SCAT. The goal was to observe the anxiety level differences in variables such as age, gender, sport and competitive level.
For that purpose an ANOVA (variance analysis) was used. The study shows that females reveal more competitive stress than males. There are no significant differences between sportsmen of various ages as well as various competitive experiences. The sportsmen of different sports also don´t show significant differences as to the studied variable (contrary to what is referred in the literature, i.e. that individual sports´practitioners show more anxiety than collective sports ´practitioners.
The aim of this study is to compare the psychological point of view of different sports performance level groups and overall value as a judoka and may identify the differences between the different categories of weight and gender, as well as compare the values found in the present study variables the values of similar studies on other populations.
For this study, junior judoists of both genders were chosen (34 boys and 15 girls). Most of them belong to the national team and the others, although not belonging to the national team, meet the conditions to make part of this study.
These judoists are almost all Europeans (Portuguese). The three exceptions are an African athlete (Cap Verde), an English athlete and a Moldavian. For this study judoists have been divided into three groups.
The 1st distinction of athletes has been made according to their sporting results. the groups have been divided in A, B and C, in decreasing order of level and based on the indications of the High Competition Regulations of the Portuguese Judo Federation and the National Sports Award’s List of the junior’s ranking. The group’s division in A, B and C was performed as follows:
Group A: Judoists with minimum results for the European or World Championship;
Group B: Judoists classified in level B tournaments and other international tournaments;
Group C: Judoists classified in national championships or tournaments as well as other non-awarded athletes.
A second division has been made after an expertise evaluation, with a scale from 1 to 10 points, indicating the global value of the individual as a judoist (based on the global appreciation of a set of training factors expressed by the athlete in a judo context situation). This evaluation has been performed by four national coaches. The punctuation is the average of their evaluation. The groups have been divided in 3, 2 and 1, in decreasing order of level and taking into account the sample’s values’ standard deviation (33% for each group).
The obtained results were put in the results’ and discussion’s chart, where variables, with significant differences or with almost significant values between groups, were shown (A, B and C groups of distinct sporting results and groups 3, 2 and 1, of distinct global value as judoists, set by expertise evaluation). The present study has been performed both for the total sample (mixed) and the exclusively male sample.
Studied variables (Psychological Evaluation)
As to the psychological variables, the following have been studied: (1) Motivation – motivational orientation for the ego or for the task; (2) Anxiety (3) Self concept – its three factors have been studied: acceptance-rejection, self-effectiveness, psychological maturity and impulse-activity.
a) Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT) (Freitas, 1991)
It is a psychological evaluation tool developed for the sporting activity which intends to measure the Trait Anxiety. The SCAT has been created by Rainer Martens and adapted into Portuguese by Sidónio Serpa, Fernando Pereira and Marta Freitas. It describes individual differences, which reveal tendencies to understand competitive situations as threatening, responding to these situations with various anxiety state reactions. (Freitas, 1991).
The SCAT is composed by fifteen items (of which only ten are quoted) adapted to sporting competition and answered in a Likert type scale of three points (almost never, sometimes, and often).
Results’ classification can go from 10 (low anxiety trait in competition) to 30 points (high anxiety trait in competition), being subsequently translated in standard note. If the individual doesn’t answer to one of the ten items, his final result can be obtained by calculating the average result of the 9 items, multiplying this value by 10 and rounding the result up to the next complete number. The examiner distributes the questionnaire and reads the instructions aloud, so that athletes may understand what they are being called upon, having the possibility of clarifying doubts. Athletes should also be asked to answer all items and also be informed that there is no limit time for answering the questionnaire.
b) Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) (Cruz e Matos, 1997)
The “Motivation and Orientation in Sport Questionnaire”” (QOMD – TEOSQ) is an adapted and translated into Portuguese version of the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ), developed by Joan L. Duda. This tool, validated for the national reality, allows the evaluation of the motivation/orientation for the task and/or for the ego in sporting contexts, based on the motivation theoretical model of Nicholls (1989). This tool is composed by 13 items, which reflect a task orientation or an ego orientation, as to the success perception and sporting success. In its original version, the QOMD – TEOSQ items are distributed in two sub-scales: Task Orientation (7 items) and Ego Orientation (6 items). The subjects answer each item, choosing an alternative, in a Lickert type scale of 5 points (1= Disagree totally; 5= Agree totally).
The adapted Portuguese version by Fernandes and Serpa, contains the following indications:
The statements that follow refer to situations that may make you feel well-succeeded in sports. In other words, it means that the physical activity went well.
Answer, making a cross on the appropriate answer (x), in order to indicate how much you personally agree with each of the statements.
c) The Clinical Inventory of Self Concept from Vaz Serra (ICAC) (Serra, 1986)
According to Serra (1988), there are four kinds of influences that help to build the self -concept:
The way other people observe an individual: the human being is taken to develop a kind of mirror phenomena, in which he tends to observe himself in the way others consider him, especially significant people;
The notion that an individual keeps of his performance in specific situations;
The confrontation of a person’s conduct with his social peers with whom he identifies himself;
The evaluation of a specific behavior according to values required by normative groups;
All these factors help to form the self-concept, which can acquire positive or negative features.
The goal of the ICAC application is to verify which is the influence of the sports activity in the self-concept formation, which type of self-concept favours a good performance, and which are the self-concept differences in judoists of more or less success.
The clinical inventory of self-concept has been developed by Professor Vaz Serra. It is a subjective self-evaluation scale, created to measure the emotional and social aspects of self-concept. It is formed by 20 items, with sentences defining clearly a situation and stressing a person´s one single feature, elaborated both in the positive and negative sense.
As to the punctuation of the items, Serra (1986) has created the possibility of distributing each question in five different categories, distinguished in the following manner: don’t agree, don’t agree much, agree moderately, agree, and agree completely, each one with a score more than the previous question. This means that each question can range from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 5 scores. The scale is conceived so that scores raise from the left to the right, obtaining at the end the total sum of the items. The higher the level, the better the person’s self-concept.
In the questions elaborated in a negative way, the scores are reverted so that a higher score always expresses a better self-concept.
Vaz Serra (1986) explains the choice of this designation – Clinical Inventory of Self Concept. It has been called inventory because, besides a global score, it also allows to obtain various indices, which bring some information about a person. These indices focus on the direct result of the factor analysis’ processes. This analysis has distinguished four main factors:
F1 – Social acceptance/rejection factor; F2 – Self efficiency factor; F3 – Psychological maturity factor and F4 – Activity – impulsivity factor besides these main factors, this scale also contains two other factors (F5 e F6), which, due to their mixed nature, cannot be given a particular designation.
It has been called clinical because the initial goal was to create an instrument which could be useful for the clinical practice. This scale only focuses the emotional and social aspects of self-concept considered important in the social adjustment. Finally, it has been called self-concept because fundamentally tries to register the perceptions a person has of oneself.
As to the instructions to be given to the inquired people, they should draw the attention to the fact that self-concept is a measure of personality traits. Therefore, the individual should read the following instructions before answering: (1) every person has an idea of how he/she is. Hereinafter are presented the attributes which can describe a person. Read each question carefully and give a true, spontaneous and quick answer to each of them; (2) when answering please consider mainly your usual way of being and not your present state of mind. Put a (x) in the box which you think applies best to your characteristics and (3) As to the application of this scale in our study, we would like to inform that there is no obligation in putting your name, since this aspect could inhibit the participation of some of the tested people.
It has been used the SPSS 11,5 program for Windows. The ANOVA (variability analysis) has been applied and the variance homogeneity for each variable has been verified and the significance level between groups as to the differences in the studied variables has been established. In the variables where groups present distinct profiles, the tests’ result has been post-hoc (Tukey) verified. The descriptive data statistic has been applied.
The following data refer to the values’ description of the psychological variables studied, as to the defined groups, either by their sporting results (Groups A, B or C) or by the judoists’ global value, defined by an expertise evaluation of national coaches (groups 3, 2 and 1). In this division the best ones should be Group A, followed by B and C, respectively. The same happens with groups 3, 2 and 1. The whole group’s results will be presented (both genders) and of the boys’ group separately, since girls are a small sample. This naturally doesn’t mean that the groups considered best at the beginning, are the ones to get the best results in this or that variable, as it happens in some cases.
Afterwards some comparisons will be made between our average results of the TEOSQ test (ego or task orientation) (Charts 2, 3, 4 e 5 next) and other results found in the bibliography (Chart 1). Here the whole sample will be referred, no matter which group they belong. So, the mixed group presents a higher task orientation value (4,12) than students with an average age of 17.4 years (3,97). In the ego orientation our group also presents a higher value (2,92) than the students (2,81). Our male group presents a lower task orientation value (4,11) than high school male students (4,28), with an average age of 17,8 years. In the ego orientation the male’s sample value (3,01) is higher than the one of the referred students (2,89). We have tried here to compare individuals of similar ages and educational level. We always have higher levels in the ego orientation. In the task orientation we only have a higher value when referring to the mixed group.
Chart 1 – Description and difference (* p ≤ 0,05) of the psychological evaluation results by groups (A, B e C) according to the sports results in both genders.
The following results (Chart 2) concern the variables’ values with significant differences between the groups distinguished by the sports performance towards the whole sample. The groups of different sports performances (Groups A, B and C) of the whole sample (Chart1), show significant differences in the impulsiveness/activity variables (p=0,039) and ego orientation (p=0,000).
Chart 2 – Description and difference (* p ≤ 0,05) of the psychological evaluation results by groups (3, 2 and 1) according to the global values as judoists, in both genders.
According to Vazou et al. (2005), and in what youth sports are concerned, it is important to reinforce task-oriented aspects.
As to the self-concept, all athletes of our study present an average value of self-concept (64,68), which is lower than the ones of the judoists, of another study, with a better performance (70,8) and people, who weren’t sportsmen (65,8) studied by Ponte et al. (1991). The same happens with the male group, which also presents a lower level in self-concept (64, 68).
The average levels of the impulsiveness/activity variable follow the descending order, groups B-C-A. This variable seems to distinguish the groups of different sports performance being, however, the judoists of group B who present the highest level (13, 25). This value is similar to one presented by Ponte et al. (1991), concerning the judoists with better sports performance (13,4). The total of self-concept shows that group B has better results but prove to be lower than the ones of the better sports performance judoists studied by Ponte et al. (1991). Contrary to what has been concluded by Ponte et al. (1991), the judoists with better sports performance in this study have not shown the best results.
In the ego orientation, however, the groups’ values follow the order A-B-C. Group A presents the highest levels, showing that judoists with better sports performance have a higher motivation in the ego orientation. These are thus the variables which may distinguish the respective groups of both genders (n=49). In the literature review, the high motivation is moreover referred as an important factor in order to achieve the high- level (Brito, 1996).
The following results (Chart 2) concern the variables’ values with significant differences between groups distinguished by the judoist’s global value towards the whole sample.
The groups distinction can be based on the study of motivational variables, namely on the Ego Orientation. Only this variable has significant values in all situations, always getting the highest results in the better rated judoists, either by their sports results, or by the prior expertise evaluation as to the global value as judoists. It is an interesting variable in the study of the sports performance, since it supplies high significant values in this distinction and even in the characterization of the different groups.
Our judoists, both mixed and male group, have got a lower value in Self-Concept, when compared to other studied populations. In spite of the values found, we believe, as (Hernández, 2011) refers, that the promotion of sports environments for the organized sports practice (including martial arts) have a positive influence in the perception of the psychological well-being with benefits for the athletes ‘self-concept and cognitive development.
Here we cannot conclude, as (Ponte et al., 1991) has done in his study, that sport contributes for the formation of a high Self-Concept, which is proportionally high to the performance. We believe that if we study a larger number of populations, our values may be higher.
The Self Concept distinguishes groups of different performance and of global value as judoists mainly through the sub-variables Impulsiveness/Activity and Self-Concept total. Only in the mixed group does the psychological variable substitute Impulsiveness/Activity. However, the best values do not match with the better rated judoists. Therefore, we cannot say that the better rated judoists show a higher Self Concept.
The impulsiveness/activity and self-concept total variables are relevant when there are male groups which are divided by their sports results, with advantage to the B group.
The psychological maturity is relevant when the sample is mixed and groups are divided according to the judoists´global value (by expertise) bearing Group 1 the best results.
When the sample is mixed, the impulsiveness/activity also presents interesting values concerning the distinction of the groups divided by their sports results, bearing Group B the best results.
Anxiety does not show the groups´ distinction, in both the sports high-performance (A, B and C groups), and the judoist´s global value (3, 2 and 1groups). Both the total and the exclusively male sample show a strong trace of competitive anxiety, and the average level of the different groups show a similar tendency (Charts 2, 3, 4 and 5).
It is concluded that although the study deals with professional and amateur male and female athletes their level of anxiety are practically the same and what differentiates is the level of experience of each judoka. In this way we suggest new studies on this subject with children, young beginners adults and also with the different classes of male and female veterans, making a relation with the competitive results expected by the coaches.
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