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The Effects of Personality, Motivation and Aggression on Sports Performance

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Personality is the mixture of characteristics or qualities that make a person unique. Our personality is an influential factor on our behaviour and often refers to an individual distinction in our character. This is particularly influential on our thoughts, feelings and attitude and in turn can affect performance. Our personalities are known to be long-term and stable, meaning they are not easily influenced or changed. However, they are able to evolve from both biological and environmental factors. For instance, growing to understand ourselves and those around us can aid in us producing the best possible versions of ourselves.

Some people are noticeably outgoing and sociable whereas others are more reserved, such differences are indications of peoples personality traits. These distinctive patterns of your psychological state for instance the way we think, feel and behave are the things that make you definitely you. There are many ways of interpreting how our personality is formed but a well know theorist named Rainer Martens created a ‘schematic theory’ in 1975 which became widely accepted by others and therefore a popular way of explaining it. He stated that the best way of comprehending how our personality functioned was through a three piece structure consisting of three different levels. Level one: the psychological core, level 2: typical responses and level 3: role related behaviours.

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Level 1: the psychological core

Martens saw level one as the deepest component of personality, suggesting it was internal and at the core of all the other levels. It consisted of individual beliefs, and feelings of self-worth and belonging which was commonly acknowledged as the ‘true self’. It overall regards an individuals interests and inner attitudes towards work and fair play, for instance the idea of sportsmanship reiterates that athlete should respect the rules of the sport, their opponents and the officials. The psychological core is also something that cannot be penetrated by any form of personality test and therefore a prediction of someones personality cannot really ever be made.

Level 2: typical responses

Level two explained how an individual would usually respond to a certain situation, adapting themselves to meet the needs of the environment. Usually your typical responses to social situations are a good indication of your psychological core, for example if you continuously seem quiet and shy, other will see you as a more introverted person than extroverted. A typical response is learned from repeating a response over and over again, therefore an assumptions cannot be made by just one observation. They must be regular and in varied circumstances so that you ensure the individuals response was a typical one. A sporting example of this, includes an athlete who is sociable and outgoing with his/her teammates but is reserved amongst those who he/she does not know.

Level 3: role-related behaviour

Martens explained level three as the shallowest level of our personalities, it shows how we change our behaviour to suit the situation, depending on our perception of it. Therefore, irrational behaviour can be explained through the way some has interpreted the situation.

In different situations people will change their behaviour built upon on the role they must take on in that environment, this suggests that role-related behaviour is the most changeable aspect of personality. For instance, in sport a person may take on the role of team captain and show a sense of authority and confidence however that same person may play as a substitute for their football team and show a reserved, submissive side to themselves. Roles can also greatly conflict with each other, for example if a parent was to coach their child’s netball team for instance, they may feel a restriction to their coaching role due to also having parenting roles standing between.

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