ERIC Number: EJ740109
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Motivational Traits of Elite Young Soccer Players
Stewart, Craig; Meyers, Michael C.
Physical Educator, v61 n4 p213-218 Win 2004
Among the most overlooked aspects in the development of elite young soccer players is that of specific psychological traits. Of those traits, motivation has important implications for programs whose objectives are identification and cultivation of young, skilled performers. The growth in popularity of soccer by youth and the successes experienced by adults in the USA (men and women's national teams and Major League Soccer) have created a need to determine a better understanding of specific psychological characteristics of players. Granted, a competitive mindset is advantageous to compete successfully in sports (Frederick, C.M. & Ryan, R.M., 1993), but limited research has been directed toward defining the competitive mindset of young elite soccer players. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate motivational characteristics of that group and ascertain if age or the position played impacted those traits. Following written informed consent, 66 elite, young male soccer players from two age groups completed the Sports Attitude Inventory (Willis, 1992) and Levenson's Locus of Control Scale (Levenson, 1981). Data were grouped for analyses by birth years and primary position played (forward, midfielder, defender or goalkeeper). Statistical analysis indicated a significant effect by age, but not by position. Univariate results indicated that older players were more motivated to avoid failure and were less prone to place locus of control on external or chance oriented sources than younger players. Both findings have implications for coaches in the development of elite teenage soccer players and serve as rationale for further study.
Descriptors: Psychological Patterns, Team Sports, Motivation, Child Development, Skill Development, Competition, Success, Males, Attitude Measures, Locus of Control, Adolescents, Athletes, Age Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A