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Psychological Characteristics of Professional Soccer Players and their Comparison with Amateur Players

Murad Sultanov


The purpose of this study was to test the association between personality traits and competitive anxiety among professional soccer players and amateur soccer players (n=78), whose ages ranged from 17 to 21 years.  Personality traits were defined using the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (translated and adapted version). Participants completed the Sport Competition Anxiety Test by Martens to assess their state of anxiety. The study revealed the dominance of sanguine and choleric temperament, corresponding to extraversion in the representatives of both groups. A one-way ANOVA demonstrated a statistically significant difference (p ≤ 0.03) between the competitive anxieties of the two groups. The results of the stepwise linear regression analysis demonstrated a statistically significant relationship (p ≤ 0.0001) between competitive anxiety and both psychoticism and neuroticism among professional soccer players. According to the results, psychoticism and neuroticism predict the formation of competitive anxiety in professional soccer players. In soccer, the level of competition causes personality differences by psychoticism and neuroticism, however, extraversion is the factor of pre-existing differences, which draw any players into a team sport. Coaches should spend more time on competitive games among youth players because it can help to adapt the autonomic nervous system and reduce excessive levels of anxiety.