Psychological Foundations of Coaching: Similarities and Differences among Intercollegiate Wrestling Coaches

Daniel Gould, Ken Hodge, Kirsten Peterson, Linda Petlichkoff
1987 The Sport Psychologist  
This study was designed to assess the psychological principles used by coaches and to determine if various categories of coaches differed in the psychological skills and strategies they employed. Intercollegiate wrestling coaches (N= 101) completed an extensive survey that assessed their opinions concerning the importance of, use of, frequency of problems arising with, and degree of success they feel they have had in changing or developing 21 psychological skills. Descriptive statistics
more » ... statistics revealed that the psychological attributes of mental toughness, positive attitude, individual motivation, and attention-concentration were judged to be most important for success in wrestling. Anxiety-stress control, attention-concentration, lack of confidence, and mental toughness were reported as the areas in which wrestlers most frequently experienced problems. The coaches indicated that the strategies most easily developed with their athletes were goal setting, team cohesion, and mental practiceimagery. Finally, the coaches felt they were most successful in enhancing team cohesion and communication, and developing sportsmanship and goal setting. Discriminant function analyses revealed that coaches who had attended USA wrestling sport science certification clinics significantly differed on several psychological principles from coaches who had not attended clinics. Coaching education implications of the results are discussed, and future research recommendations are forwarded. Outlining the functions of the field in 1925, Coleman Griffith, the father of American sport psychology, indicated that the first task of the sport psychology specialist was "to make plain to young and inexperienced coaches those psycho-About the Authors:
doi:10.1123/tsp.1.4.293 fatcat:ai3xhqzvsjbb7ckoww6tdxhnpe