The Psychological Factors that Lead to Aggression During Competition

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Alleviating Anger in Athletes

There is no doubt in my mind that being humble and engaging in rigorous prayer can reduce aggression and also increase ones mental fortitude during competition. By being humble an athlete is able to better control their ego by not getting so caught up in their self-worth. Individuals who have high senses of pride are more likely to have higher egos and could be prone to try and defend that pride if it is questioned and this is where the aggression comes out. As Mahl puts it “When we make ourselves the top priority, we lose self-control; but when we give up control to the Lord, we end up having self-control given to us.” Engaging in rigorous prayer helps aggressive individuals to gain self-control which they can use to their advantage in situations where they might be prone to show aggression and to refrain from letting it out. If I were a psychologist and my client was an athlete who wanted to explore combatting his aggression with humility and prayer I would be all for it as there is clear-cut evidence in the article. If the client comes to the psychologist with the idea and is fully invested in it and the psychologist supports it, it is more likely that the prayer and humility would produce positive results as this could improve the athletes intrinsic interest in these two areas because of support of the notion by the psychologist.

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As we discussed with the Aaron Hernandez debate, sports can make someone more aggressive, but sport itself is not the direct source of aggression, this almost always comes from an underlying cause. Sports are likely to induce aggression in individuals because of how important it is to be aggressive whenever playing or practicing. Those who are the most aggressive in their sport tend to be the most effective at producing positive results for their team on the field. These individuals are always encouraged to be aggressive when competing and as a result this aggressiveness can become a natural part of a person’s character. This idea holds true for almost all sports, but does not necessarily translate to other professions. It is true that individuals in professions where it is necessary to “climb the ladder” it can be advantageous to be aggressive and assertive in your work, not towards people, but just the way that you conduct yourself. By this I mean, you can be an aggressive worker but that doesn’t make you an aggressive person. Some professions however do no require any sort of aggressiveness and passivity can be more beneficial. Examples of this could be a teacher or a foreign diplomat/ambassador. I feel that this sort of job is not one that would cause passivity to be a natural part of someones personality like what is seen with those in child care professions.

Athletes should most certainly be role models. Just because some athletes are poor role models doesn't mean that a generalization needs to made about all athletes. In my mind all athletes should conduct themselves in an honorable and professional manner on and off the field. Conducting yourself in a way such as this is something that kids should model themselves after regardless if they are an athlete or not. Also, athletes should strive to be role models are a true man is one who is not one who behaves like a child on an off the field, but one that inspires young men to behave like grown man. There are psychological implications that come with this role as an athlete could have thoughts of “what would be the right thing to do in this situation?” In this sense I think that the only real psychological consequence that comes with being a role model is merely a stronger and more honorable conscience.

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