Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Constructing Personality Profile of Charismatic Hockey Player Dhanraj Pillay

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Constructing Personality Profile of Charismatic Hockey Player Dhanraj Pillay

Article excerpt

Introduction

The area of human endeavor called 'sports' has involved great numbers of people, both participants and spectators, in almost all the nations and civilizations of the world. Last few decades have witnessed tremendous change in the attitude of world towards competitive sports. Society at large is becoming highly concerned for the performance of their athletes and players at national and international levels, thereby transforming sports competition into a highly exciting and challenging enterprise (Brar et al 2010). In today's competitive scenario, the sportspersons, coaches, trainers and all other concerned with sports cannot depend on physical and physiological fitness alone, they have to identify, recognize and understand socio-psychological attributes which equally affect the performance. Dobersek and Bartling (2008) mention that there are numerous factors that are responsible for the performance of a sportsman as it depends not only on his or her suppleness, skill, and training, but also on various other factors of psychological and biochemical nature including his or her personality type. Rathee and Salh (2010) also identified cognitive style and emotional maturity as indispensible attributes of high level performers.

Normally, in country like India, a person starts taking part in a game or event without any proper guidance or determination of his specific sporting potential. No sincere efforts are made from any quarter to identify and tap his hidden talent for any particular or specific game or event. It is by sheer chance that one gets to participate in a particular sport that is suitable to his inherent capabilities and personality attributes. In such circumstances, failure is just but inevitable.

Hockey, India's national game, has provided the nation with many proud occasions. Unmatched excellence and incomparable virtuosity brought India laurels at international level as well as a string of Olympic gold medals. But in the recent decade, Indian hockey has witnessed only constant decline, except few sporadic spots of excellence here and there. This has been the sad story of India hockey in spite of having produced players like Dhayan Chand, Balbir Singh and many others who had mesmerized the world of hockey with their 'magical skills'. In this list of outstanding players, out of the present day hockey players, the name that can be very conveniently added is that of Dhanraj Pillay. Successful players like Dhanraj Pillay form a class apart in sporting arena as they carve out a distinct spot for themselves through sheer hard work and sincere devotion.

In the realm of sports performance, it is well recognized that psychological makeup of the athletes plays a very significant role in producing successful performance outcomes (Singh, 2004). The elite sportspersons in most sports share a common physiology, most suited to their sport, as well as the best of equipment, coaching, strength, conditioning, and nutrition. What then remains to make the difference between success and failure on a given day is often their mental skills. Elite athletes are able to shifttheir attention to the critical cues in the environment as the situation demands. They are highly self confident and possess a high degree of self efficacy, a conviction that they can successfully perform the skills to yield the desired outcomes. High expectations for success contribute to their achievements (Wuest and Fisette, 2011). Hence, it becomes imperative to develop personal socio-psychological profiles of outstanding and great sportspersons; to find out their specific personality traits, and attributes, systematically analyze the same, and then, filter out the medal winning formula. Cox (2007) mentions that world class athletes can be correctly differentiated from less skilled athletes by their psychological profile 70% of the time. Personality profiles that include situational measures of psychological states have been shown to be the most accurate in predicting level of athletic performance. …

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