The Psychological Constructs and Dimensions Applied to Sports Performance: A Change of Theoretical Paradigms

By Pierpaolo, Limone; Antonia, Toto Giusi | Journal of Physical Education and Sport, November 2018 | Go to article overview

The Psychological Constructs and Dimensions Applied to Sports Performance: A Change of Theoretical Paradigms


Pierpaolo, Limone, Antonia, Toto Giusi, Journal of Physical Education and Sport


Introduction

Contemporary studies and literature are following new and interdisciplinary research paths in the field of sports performance. In the last 10 years, a change of perspective is shown in the analysis of sporting performance. Competition up until the beginning of the millennium was 'measured' above all through physiological indications, but the enormous scale of psychological studies between the 70s and 80s of the last century produced three major modifications in the methodologies and research tools of Physical education and science of sport in general. The first major revolution concerns the importance of perception and individual differences in success in physical activities in the wake of Bandura's self-efficacy construct (Ektırıcı, et al., 2017). Moving the focus from a team success to an individual success, since the theory of the average selfefficacy between individual perception influenced by the physiology and the different behaviors implemented, recognizing the athlete's ability to control the thought process, motivation and behaviors (Bandura, & Cervone, 1983). Even today, the belief of self-efficacy is considered one of the most significant factors for success in sports environments. The second macro change in the research perspectives was with the introduction of constructs and negative effects of mental abilities on sports performance. The study and intervention on these negative dimensions that hindered the full sporting success allowed the openness towards interdisciplinarity of the Phisical education that has incorporated, in addition to pure psychological studies, also medical-clinical, on rehabilitation and studies on disabilities (Girelli, 2012). The third change in progress concerns the passage of the Biopsychosocial model from medical disciplines to social and sport disciplines; this model places the individual at the center of a large system influenced by multiple variables. Physical education and the disciplines of sport must not only be concerned with functions and muscles, and physical performance only in terms of measuring individual and physiological variables, but must pay attention to the psychological, social, and family aspects of the individual, between interacting with them and able to influence the evolution of a sports competition (Donizzetti, 2014). The bio-psychosocial model is opposed to the classical bio-medical model, according to which the state of health and physical efficiency can be traced back to biological variables that the sportsman has to improve only with the practice of sport. The concept of health of WHO (2001) in its programmatic definition refers to the physical components (functions, structural organs), mental (intellectual and psychological state), social (domestic, working, economic, family, civil) and spiritual (values ), to identify in all the variables related to the subjective and objective conditions of well-being (health in its positive conception) and evil-being (illness, problem, discomfort or health in its negative conception) to be considered globally in the approach to the person . The numerous skills required for the holistic approach can not be concentrated in a single, professional, but the bio-psycho-social approach is achievable through the activity of multi-professional teams.

Material and methods

Theoretical and argumentative approach to support and enhance the literature review on sport performance, mental abilities and sportive success. To linearly deduct the data to obtain the main results to eventually apply at athletes in order to make a scientific paradigm. The following research methods used for solving the purpose and obtaining objective data: theoretical analysis and generalization of data from special scientific and methodical literature e methods of mathematical statistics..

A systematic review of the existing literature was conducted to search for articles in the main international databases (Google Scholar, PsycInfo and Scopus) on the topic of the new theoretical paradigms applied to sports performance, using only the key words "in English and Italian "Sport performance", "mental abilities", "Sport Psychology", and "sport test". …

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