Ibero-American Journal of Exercise and Sports Psychology

DIFFERENCES IN THE PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS AND STRATEGIES USED BY ELITE MALE UNDER-19 RUGBY UNION PLAYERS IN COMPETITION ACCORDING TO PLAYING POSITION

Abstract

Luis Vaz, Ignacio Martín, Marco Batista, Luís Almeida, & Helder M. Fernandes

The aim of this study is to identify differences in the use of psychological skills in competitive situations depending on playing position (forwards vs. back lines) and also considering the final classification obtained (1st to 3rd vs. 4th to 7th places). A total of 183 male athletes (M = 18.67, SD = 0.51 years) from seven nations participating in the European Championship under 19 (2014 edition) volunteered to the study. The sample consisted of 92 forwards and 91 backs players. Athletes responded to translated and adapted versions of the questionnaire Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS; Thomas et al., 1999) an hour before the first competition. The results indicated that, in general, forward players reported higher levels of self-talk (p = .030) and activation (p = .025) than the backs. When compared separately by the playing position, forward players of the better-ranked national teams in the competition scored significantly lower on negative thinking (p = .001) when compared with the forward players of the worst-ranked teams. It is concluded that certain psychological skills used in competition varies according to the game position and that a better control of negative thoughts by forward rugby players may contribute to their teams' overall performance success.

PDF

Share this article

Top