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A comparison of psychological traits in elite, sub-elite and non-elite English cricketers

Wilson, Adam (2011) A comparison of psychological traits in elite, sub-elite and non-elite English cricketers. Leeds Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Within contemporary sport there is a need to highlight those psychological traits that distinguish performers at the height of their sport from the subsequent levels. The present study investigates psychological traits of elite, sub-elite and non-elite English cricketers in order to establish whether traits differ amongst the three levels of performer. A sample of 60 male cricketers (Mean age = 22.72 years, SD = .75), deriving from County Cricket Clubs (Elite cricketers), MCC Universities (Sub-elite cricketers) and National Cricket Clubs (Non-elite cricketers) were examined in the pre-season of 2011. Three questionnaires were administered, assessing mental toughness (SMTQ; Sheard, Golby & van Wersch, 2009), coping strategies (WOCS; Madden, Summers & Brown, 1988, as cited in Madden, Kirkby & McDonald, 1989) and motivation (SMS-6; Mallett, Kawabata, Newcombe, Otero-Forero & Jackson, 2006). In line with past research, it was hypothesised that the three levels of performer would differ significantly on such measures. Predictions regarding specific relations were made a priori. Multiple one way ANOVA’s revealed that performers only differed significantly (F = 2, 57, p < 0.003) on measures of constancy (SMTQ), although a trend for external regulation (SMS-6) was noticeable. In regards to the former, non-elite cricketers were found to score significantly lower than elite and sub-elite cricketers, suggesting that non-elite cricketers are less determined to achieve success than elite and sub-elite players. In reference to external regulation, sub-elite cricketers scored higher than elite and non-elite players, implying that sub-elite cricketers may be more likely than elite and non-elite players to participate in order to obtain rewards. The results suggest that cricket performers may not significantly differ in the psychological traits they possess, with the only exception being constancy.

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