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Physical Education

Age, psychological factors and technology (AQA)

Psychological factors

Psychological factors are the mental factors that help or prevent sportspeople from being in the right 'frame of mind' to perform well.

In sport you have to want to perform and to improve your performance. Your determination to do this is called motivation. The intensity of it is called arousal.

If training leads to boredom you will lose motivation. If you are 'wound up' you are suffering from anxiety [Anxiety: The state of being over-aroused. ]: you will feel tension in your body and this can prevent you from performing well. Feedback is information about the outcome of a performance and it can greatly affect future performances.

Your personality can affect your choice of sports and performance:

Extroverts are socially outgoing. They need high arousal levels to perform. Coaches and team mates need to keep them 'excited' about performing. They prefer team games with open skills and lots of unpredictability. Open skills are used in sports where you cannot predict what will happen next, eg in an invasion game such as hockey.

Introverts are usually shy. They perform better at lower arousal levels. Coaches and team mates need to allow them to stay calm and focused. Too much stimulation will cause them to be over-aroused and they will not perform well. They prefer sports with fine movements, closed skills and regular routines. Closed skills are used in sports where you can control the environment, eg putting in golf.

A female ice hockey team

Extroverts are well suited to team games

A golfer

Introverts may be drawn to sports with closed skills such as golf

Some people like sports in which they can show direct aggression like boxing and rugby, where players make contact with each other. Others prefer sports which involve indirect aggression like tennis and volleyball, where players hit a ball to 'beat' their opponents.

Back to Factors affecting performance index

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