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A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF EMOTIONAL
INTELLIGENCE AMONG INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM-BASED SPORTS ATHLETES Ruby Pawar, Head, Department of
Psychology, K. R. T. Arts, A. M. Commerce & B. H. Science College,
Nashik. Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune.
 Abstract The purpose of present
research is to compare the emotional
intelligence of team-based and individual sport athletes. In order to
evaluate emotional intelligence, Mangal Emotional Intelligence Inventory
(MEII) by Dr. S. K. Mangal and Mrs. Shubhra Mangal was used which measures Inter-Personal Awareness, Intra-Personal
Awareness, Intra-Personal Management,
Inter-personal Management and Overall Emotional Intelligence.  On
collecting data and using (K-S) test and further making certain that the data
is naturally distributed (P > 0.05), descriptive statistics (mean and
standard deviation) and independent ‘t’ test was used. The results clearly indicated that there is a
significant difference in
Inter-Personal Awareness, Inter- personal Management and Overall Emotional Intelligence among team and individual sport athletes. Keywords:
Emotional intelligence, Individual sports athletes, Team based sports
athletes Introduction Research findings have shown that emotional experiences of athletes and the ability to control
the destructive negative emotions is the major part of preparation of athletes. The results of studies conducted regarding
the effective medalist athletes imply that
among the effective factors impacting the performance of athletes, the
ability to recognize, manage and express the feelings logically in stressful
situations is highly important. On the other hand, according to development
of different methods of exercise and techniques of skill execution, the
quality of exercise sessions, flexibility, speed, high power and physical
preparedness cannot singly guarantee the success of athletes and or teams,
but development and improvement of mental preparedness and paying attention
to factors such as self-confidence, awareness of one’s and others feelings, self-management,
adequate emotional energy and emotion management would lead to transfer of
learnt skills from exercise sessions to competition time in a positive
manner. The results of studies conducted regarding identification of factors
impacting athletes’ performance indicate that experience, skill level,
concentration, presence of spectators, severe excitation, control
center and hostile condition are of the most
important variables impacting the performance of athletes particularly in
sensitive events. But professional athletes apply different types of mental
skills in order to control their competitive anxiety and facilitating high
performance during competitions. Bois E. (2009) in his research indicated
that having excellent physical performance and possessing high level mental
skills is necessary for the success of athletes. He believes that the
athletes, who have different performance levels, would probably have
different mental skills. The results of Pigozzie’s study (2008) indicated
that genius athletes have good motivation and self-confidence through
controlling competitive anxiety by mental skills (such as imaging, emotion
control) but amateur athletes are faced with a significant decrease in their
performance due to high anxiety during competitions. Hanton (2000) believes
that Olympic athletes use mental skills particularly imaging and
self-confidence for displaying an excellent performance, but amateur
athletes, with the aim of reducing competitive anxiety in stressful
conditions, apply mental skill techniques. Hanton and Connaughton (2002)
based on their research on the impact of mental skills on the performance of
swimmers reported that Olympic athletes are aware of positive impacts of
mental skills on performance, so they apply imaging, positive self-talk and
other previously successful methods and techniques in order to achieve
success. Covassin (2004) considers emotional preparedness as a part of mental
preparedness and believes that emotional preparedness has a significant role
in decision making, proper performance, increase of morale and motivation of
athletes and finally team efficacy improvement. Andrew et al (2006) in his
study on investigating the relationship between emotional intelligence and
behavioral features with performance of student athletes, believes that
having balanced behavioral features such as controlling negative emotions
and motivations in a proper level are the
characteristics of superior athletes and states that emotional intelligence
has a positive relationship with optimum performance and self- efficacy of
superior athletes that separates the performance of these athletes from
others in sensitive and important events. Based on a research performed by
Vassiliki (2009) on genius Taekwondo and Judo players, he reported that
emotional intelligence has a direct relationship with excellent physical
image and optimum performance and the athletes who have higher emotional
intelligence, have higher performance by accepting the responsibility and
mistakes of their teammates. Zizzi (2003) while confirming the positive
relationship between emotional intelligence and performance believes that
possessing social skills, undertaking the responsibility and mistakes of
their teammates are of the most important characteristics of genius athletes.
The researches of Gohm et al (2003) indicated that emotional intelligence of
athletes increases self-efficacy and effectiveness by impacting on
behavioural properties. Narimani (2009)
believes that emotional intelligence impacts athletes’ performance and this
impact in team sports is higher than that in individual sports and the
athletes of the team that has higher emotional intelligence would achieve
higher success compared to individual athletes. Perlini (2009) investigating
the relationship between the impact of emotional intelligence on hockey
players reported that emotional intelligence is one of the effective mental
skills on performance and self- efficacy of genius athletes that increases
individual and team efficacy. Meyers (2007) reported that the understanding
of teammates, self-confidence, behavioural properties, concentration and emotional disorders are of the main
factors impacting the performance of athletes. Therefore, in order to achieve
optimum application of sport skills, possessing physical preparedness, skill
preparedness, tactic and mental preparedness are very necessary. So, based on
the importance of the positive impact of emotional intelligence on success,
in present research, the level of emotional
intelligence among individual and
team sport athletes was compared.
Research methodology The present research aims to compare emotional intelligence of individual and team-
based sport athletes. The sample consisted of 70 athletes, 35 of them
are team-based sports athletes (Volleyball, Kabaddi, Football and Basketball)
and 35 athletes are of individual sports (track and field, fencing, shooting,
karate and swimming) from Nashik. Tool used Mangal Emotional Intelligence
Inventory (MEII). This questionnaire measures 4 areas of emotional
intelligence namely, Intra-personal Awareness,
Inter-personal Awareness, Intra-personal Management and Inter-Personal
Management on a Yes/No scale. The reliability of this test was examined by
split-half method, K-R formula (20) and test-retest. The reliability
coefficient was 0.89, 0.90 and 0.92 respectively. After obtaining scores on
the test and using (K-S) test and making
certain of data natural distribution (P > 0.05), descriptive statistics
(mean and standard deviation) and independent ‘t’ test was calculated.
Research findings 70 athletes from individual sports (track and field,
fencing, shooting, karate and swimming) and team-based sports such as
Volleyball, Kabaddi, Football and Basketball
accepted to participate in this research. The mean scores of
Intra-Personal Awareness (19.26),
Intra-personal Management (19.23) of
individual sport athletes is higher
than that of team sport athletes whereas
the Inter-Personal Awareness (19.73), Inter-personal Management
(20.63) and Overall Emotional Intelligence (77.69) of team sport athletes is greater than that of individual sport athletes (table1). Table1: The
mean of 4 areas and Overall Emotional
Intelligence of individual and team-based sports athletes Areas of Emotional Intelligence Individual
athletes(n=35) Team athletes (n=35) M Sd M Sd Intra-personal awareness 19.26
2.88 18.94 2.67 Inter-personal Awareness
16.31 4.24 19.17 3.19 Intra-personal
Management 19.23 2.62 18.94 3.65 Inter-personal Management 15.14 2.79
20.63 2.38 Overall Emotional Intelligence 69.94 6.32 77.69 7.05 The results of ‘t’ test indicated that there is
significant difference between Inter-
Personal Awareness (t = 3.19, P 0.05) (table 2).
Table 2: A comparison of 4 areas of
Emotional Intelligence of individual and team-based sports athletes
Areas of Emotional Intelligence Std. Error M. differ ‘t’ Intra-personal
awareness 0.66 0.31 0.47 Inter-personal
Awareness 0.90 2.86 *3.19
Intra-personal Management 0.76 0.29 0.38 Inter-personal Management
0.62 5.49 *8.86 Overall Emotional Intelligence 1.60 7.74 *4.84 *Significant
‘t’ value Discussion and Conclusion The
results of present research demonstrated that there is significant
difference in Inter-Personal Awareness,
Inter-personal Management and Overall
Emotional Intelligence of individual and team-based sports athletes. The team-based
sports athletes scored higher than
individual sport athletes in these three areas. So, the coaches and sport experts must apply psychological sport
findings and develop the emotional
intelligence of individual on applied manner in exercise sessions to improve
their performance. The findings showed that though the individual
athletes scored higher on Intra-Personal Awareness and Intra-Personal Management
there was no significant difference between the individual and team-based
sports athletes. Possibly since the success
of individual athletes depends only to their performance, these athletes
possess lower Inter-Personal Awareness,
Inter-personal Management and Overall Emotional Intelligence than team athletes whose success depends to the
performance of all team members. Eric (1996) in his investigation of
self-confidence impact on the performance of team and individual athletes
reported that there is no significant relationship in competitive anxiety
levels and self-confidence between male and female athletes. But when the
athletes were studied based on nature of the sport field (team based and
individual), it was observed that female athletes have more negative thinking
and lower relaxation than their male counterparts that is consistent to the present
research. Calmels (2002) in a similar research stated that the nature of
sport (team based or individual) and the gender of athletes are of effective
factors impacting their performance. He stated that individual athletes
compared to team ones experience higher levels of negative thinking and
self-talk whereas team athletes possessing better communicative skills have
more ability in motivating their team mates. The findings of Zizzi’s research
indicated that experienced athletes induce their teammates for achieving the
goals determined by coach through making effective communication to their
teammates (social skills), accepting and undertaking the responsibility and
mistakes of their teammates (self-awareness and self-motivation) and
encouraging and enhancing the role of inexperienced ones at the time of
committing individual mistakes (empathy). In this research, a significant
relationship was observed between emotional intelligence and athletes’
experience. Meyers (2007) stated that paying attention to emotional
experiences of athletes and the ability of controlling it is a main part of
preparation plan of Olympic and genius athletes and continued that understanding
the teammates, anxiety, behavioral properties and emotional disorders are of
the most important factors impacting athletes’ performance. Gohm (2003)
believes that only 30% of athletes are aware of the impact of emotional
intelligence on performance and apply it and team athletes use more social
skills, empathy and self-motivation than individual athletes. The coaches and
psychologists of teams must incorporate emotional preparation strategies in
order to modify and control negative feelings and enhancing positive
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