South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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Personality traits of competitive athletes according to type of pressure exerted on opponents

Paweł Piepiora, Kazimierz Witkowski


This study attempted to create the psychological profiles of the personality of athletes practising individual and team disciplines, according to the type of pressure exerted on the opponent in a competitive situation. The selected criterion for division into the  types of pressure exerted on the opponent was physical contact with the opponent  during a competition. Polish competitive male athletes (n=120) were purposefully  selected for the study from four sport disciplines: bodybuilding (n=30), WKF karate (n=30), volleyball (n=30) and football (n=30). Their age ranged between 20 and 29 years. The personality tests were performed using the NEO-FFi method. There are differences between the sport disciplines where pressure is exerted indirectly on the opponent and those practising disciplines with pressure exerted directly on the rivals in the neuroticism and conscientiousness scales. The groups studied, except for the comparison of volleyball players and footballers, differ among each other in the  neuroticism scale, while volleyball players are less agreeable and conscientious than other athletes. The results show the personality of the athletes depend on the type of pressure exerted on the opponent in relation to individual and team disciplines. This approach allows building profiles of the personality of successful players.

Keywords: Sport psychology; Personality; Exerting pressure; Competitive sport.

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