Stability of athlete position in elite team: motivation indicators

Por: Galina Gorskaya.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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It is very significant for every elite athlete to participate in elite team and maintain stable position there. Manifestations of stable position significance for elite athletes are various. One of them is revealed in conflicts between veterans and talented young athletes included in elite team. Elite athletes sensitivity to all circumstances of selection situations also demonstrate the importance of achieving and maintaining favourable position in elite team. Coaches realize athletes sensitivity to unfavourable changes of their position in elite team and take it into account while searching the ways to induce athletes to work hard during training sessions. Sometimes they solve the problem by making athletes to doubt of their position stability. But the increase of psychic loads as a consequence of athletes uncertainty in their position stability is often ignored by coaches.


Elite athletes reactions to changes in their position in elite team were studied during six year investigation in the group of elite yachtsmen. The aim of investigation was the following: 1) searching for most sensitive indicators that may characterize the yachtsmen attitude to their social position in the crew, 2) defining indicators that reflect different
reaction types to social position changes, 3) clearing out the elite yachtsmen conception of means that allow to stabilize social position. Yachtsmen motivation structure was studied by Piloyan method. 7 motivation indicators were registered during three competition seasons five times every season. 24 elite yachtsmen took part in investigation. 12 of
them were helmsmen and 12 yachtsmen were crew.

Results and conclusion.

The most sensitive indicators of yachtsmen reaction to social position changes are: self-affirmation desire, material security desire, interest to social well - being, desire to avoid psychic discomfort. Active and passive reactions to unfavourable social position changes were cleared out. Active reaction include first three indicators that often followed by decrease of self-improvement motivation. It means that elite athletes consider their social position improvement as dependent more on social contacts than on their performance level. Passive reaction indicators are decrease of achievement and competitive motivation and increase of desire to avoid psychic discomfort. This reaction pattern expresses athlete doubt about capacity to make position more stable. On the basis of investigation results the program of psychological control was worked out. This program allowed to register the indicators of athletes estimation of their social position stability and thus to prevent interpersonal conflicts and psychic overloads.







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