Ibero-American Journal of Exercise and Sports Psychology

EXCELLENCE IN SPORT: THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL AND CONTEXTUAL FACTORS ON THE PATHWAYS OF PORTUGUESE CHAMPIONS

Abstract

Daniela S. Matos, José F. A. Cruz, e Leandro S. Almeida

The current study aimed to analyze and understand the initiation, development and maintenance of excellence in sport, as well as to explore the personal and contextual factors associated with excellence in sports contexts. Using a mixed methods design, two distinct studies were conducted. A total of 12 athletes of both genders, who excelled in several sports, participated in the set of the two studies. Excellence in sports seems to result from the interaction of different factors, highlighting the personal factors, including the characteristics associated with personality, such as persistence and dedication, self-confidence, spirit of sacrifice and adaptive perfectionism. Similarly, it seems also relevant the great emotional diversity experienced by athletes, the use of a diverse repertoire of coping skills, as well as the importance of processes related to practice and training. Among contextual factors, the importance of certain life experiences and significant people in the lives of athletes were also highlighted.

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