Sport psychological skills training of South African provincial netball players
Van den Heever, Zelna
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The importance of sport psychological skills training is emphasized by the contention that the knowledge obtained through observing an athletes' behaviour within a sporting environment could be used to explain, predict and change behaviour, thereby, enhancing sport performance. Sport psychological factors are being recognized as one of the most significant contributors to sport performance. Three hundred and fourteen provincial netball players (average age = 20.30 ± 3.88 years) from 33 teams who participated in the 2004 South African Inter-Provincial Netball tournament completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2), Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28) and Psychological Skills Inventory (PSI). Results from the first article revealed that this population had limited prior exposure to sport psychological skills (SPS) and sport psychological skills training (SPST) programmes in general. The skills to which these players have primarily been exposed to are self-confidence, positive self-talk, team cohesiolspirit, goal-setting and concentration skills. The players further perceive SPST to be very important and expressed a need thereof, especially since 26.43% of the players perceive their ability to be psychologically well prepared for competitions as average or below average. A comparative study between more successful and less successful groups of u/19 and u/21 netball players showed that the more successful group to have significantly better values for cognitive state anxiety (direction), state self-confidence (direction) and peaking under pressure. The more successful group obtained better results in 13 of the 19 tested variables. Eight of these variables (of which three significantly so) are able to accurately (69.44% effective) discriminate between these two groups. Collectively, the SPS levels. information on SPST and the extent to which SPS contribute to performance necessitate a collaborated effort by sport psychologists and netball coaches to develop and implement a consistent, systematic sport-specific SPST programme.
- Humanities