Psychological profile of paralympics athletes in Athens 2004
The identification and comprehension of the psychological components which determine the differences between the high performance athletes at competition time, is absolutely necessary in order to choose the suitable interventions when coaching. The present study describes the identification of the psychological profiles that distinguish the athletes of different sport modalities and different disabilities, based on the Psychological Performance Profile. The sample concerns 28 athletes (21 men and 7 women) from four sport modalities and three different kinds of disability. The age of the athletes ranged from 19 and 49 years old (M= 31.14, SD= 6.69), which represent the total athletes selected for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, without any cognitive problems. The inventory used was that of the Psychological Performance Profile, who takes into consideration the evaluation of seven psychological variables: self-confidence, negativism, positivism, attention, visualization, motivation and attitude control. The statistical procedures were based on descriptive, correlative and comparative analysis, with a significance level of 0.05. The main results showed high level of psychological preparation, regular for the variables: motivation (27.43+1.99), self-confidence (27.18+2.57) and attitude control (25.61+2.68), and non-regular for positivism (24.86+2.53), visualization (23.29+4.02), attention (23,07+3,36) and negativism (21.11+3.19). This study also found statistically important differences between paralympic athletes according to the kind of handicap, sportive modality and ranks.
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