This study aims to address two shortcomings in sport psychology research: the scarcity of cognitive and developmental psychology studies in sports (Furley & Wood, 2016), and the lack of an integrated approach, i.e. comprising both cognition and emotion, to study sports performance. The aim of this research is to examine the role of general cognitive abilities, attentional style and emotions in predicting performance in different sports, namely volleyball and artistic gymnastics. We tested 218 youth participants (104 artistic gymnasts and 114 volleyball players, aged between 11 and 17 years) with different measures of working memory capacity and executive functions (i.e. updating, shifting and inhibition). They completed two self-report measures, a Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style and a questionnaire on the emotions experienced before a competition. For each participant, we collected the age and years of experience. The scores collected in 2017 competitions were the artistic gymnasts’ performance measures. For each volleyball player, we computed an individual performance index, by asking two independent judges to rate their video-recorded performances in 2017-18 competitions. Then we derived, from our measures, ten predictors, namely a working memory-updating factor, an inhibition-shifting factor, four attentional style indicators and four groups of emotional states derived from the crossing of two dimensions, specifically the arousal (high activation or low activation) and the hedonic tone (pleasant or unpleasant). The regression analyses pointed to a clear dissociation. On the one hand, the working memory-updating factor was the only predictor (together with the experience) of the volleyball players’ performance, with a moderation effect of emotional arousal on this relationship. On the other hand, experience and higharousal unpleasant emotions (the latter with a negative coefficient) were the only predictors of artistic gymnasts’ performance. This evidence underlines how performance in open-skills sports (volleyball), where athletes need to process a significant amount of information, mainly depends on working memory, while in closed-skills sports (artistic gymnastics), where gestures are highly automatized, it is affected by emotion regulation. Further differences between the sports sample are also described in the dissertation.
|Titolo della tesi:||PLAY THE BALL WITH YOUR COGNITIVE RESOURCES , STICK THE LANDING WITHOUT ANXIETY. A Study on Cognition and Emotions in Youth Volley Ball Players and Artistic Gymnasts|
|Data di discussione:||15-mag-2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|