Perfomers and significant others affective reactions to competative outcomes

Por: Georgia Stefanou.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Emotions constitute an important aspect of one’s involvement in sport either as an athlete or coach, since emotions influence achievement performance and interpersonal relationships [1, 2, 3, 5]. However, little research has examined athletes’ emotions and, even less, coaches’ emotions in real achievement conditions [3, 4, 6]. This study, considering the importance of the outcome, aimed at investigating performers’ and coaches’ affects for volleyball game outcomes. It is expected that positive and negative outcomes will produce positive and negative affects, respectively, and that emotional differences between players and coaches would appear for loss, not for win. 


The participants were volleyball players (44 losers; 40 winners; 39 females, 45 males) and coaches (13 winners, 13 losers), who came from 26 teams of the first and second division of the Greek Volleyball League. All the participants completed, within one hour of the start of the games, a short set of questions relative to personal factors and the importance attached to win scale, and, immediately after the games, the affect scale which consists of 11 emotions (e.g. Happy 7  6  5  4  3  2  1 Unhappy) for team game outcome. The consistency of the scale is in agreement with the attributional theory of emotions [3, 4], while alpha value was found to be .85.


One-way MANOVA (F(11, 98) = 438.45, p < 0.01) and subsequent ANOVAs revealed significant differences among the groups of the outcome variable in the affects. Scheffe and Duncan’s tests showed that both players and coaches experienced intense negative affects and positive affects for loss and win, respectively, and that the players, more than coaches, felt dissatisfied, displeased, not confident and hopelessness for losing outcomes. In addition, Discriminant Function analysis indicated that the outcome (mainly satisfaction, happiness and pleasure)- rather than the attribution - dependent affects discriminated winning players from losing players, and wining coaches from losing coaches. 

Discussion / Conclusions

The present results, in consistency with the expectations and previous research [1, 3, 4], could be attributed to the: high importance of the task, top competitive level, and pre - task expectations. The findings also confirmed the hypothesis that emotional differences between players and coaches would appear for negative, but not for the positive outcomes. Thus, training should optimize players’ and coaches’ affective reactions to competitive outcomes.  Future research should examine: (a) the impact of athletes’ and coaches’ cognitive and affective factors (e.g. empathy, ego involvement, expertise, self - efficacy, outcome expectations) in the generation of the emotions for the athletes’ performance, and (b) the consequences of these emotions on future performance and coach - athlete interpersonal relationship.



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[2]. Jowett, S., & Meek, G. (2000). The Sport Psychologist, 14, 157 - 175.

[3]. Stephanou, G. (2001). In A. Papaioannou, M. Goudas, & Y. Theodorakis (Eds.), Proceeding of 10th World Congress of Sport Psychology: In the down of the new millennium (pp. 46-49). Skiathos, Greece: Christodoulidis.

[4]. Stephanou, G. (2003). In R. Stelter, D. Alfermann, S. Biddle, H. Ripoll, G. Roberts, R. Seiler, N. Stambulova (Eds), Proceeding of the XIth European Congress of Sport Psychology: New Approaches to Exercise and Sport Psychology - Theories, Methods and applications (CD form). Copenhagen, Denmark. 

[5]. Weiner, B. (1992). Human motivation: Metaphors, theories and research. London: Sage.

[6]. Weiss, M. R. (2001). In A. Papaioannou, M. Goudas, & Y. Theodorakis (Eds.), Proceeding of 10th World Congress of Sport Psychology: In the down of the new millennium (pp. 170 - 172). Skiathos, Greece: Christodoulidis.





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