Relationship between locus of control,sense of coherence and mental skills in Swedish elite athletes

Fallby, Johan and Hassmen, Peter and Kentta, Goran and Durand-Bush, Natalie (2006) Relationship between locus of control,sense of coherence and mental skills in Swedish elite athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 4 (2). pp. 111-120. ISSN 1612-197X


Differences in competitive performance at the elite level are often attributed more to mental factors than merely inequalities in physical or technical prowess. Many elite athletes consequently engage in regular mental skills training, but some reach a higher standard than others. One suggestion is that trait characteristics may to some extent influence both the acquisition and use of mental skills. Our purpose was therefore to investigate whether or not a relationship could be detected between trait measures related to personal control and mental skills. A total of 198 individual elite athletes completed inventories measuring locus of control, sense of coherence, and mental skills. Results revealed that individuals with an internal locus of control and a high sense of coherence consistently displayed significantly higher scores on 9 out of the 12 mental skills measured by the Ottawa Mental Skills Assessment Tool‐3 than did athletes scoring lower on the two trait inventories. Findings suggest that individuals who perceive their world to be controllable, manageable, and meaningful have more developed mental skills. The cross‐sectional design does, however, preclude causal inferences, but sport psychology consultants and coaches may still want to consider these findings when tailoring mental skills training programs for individual athletes desiring to achieve performance excellence in elite sports.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2007 11:47
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: elite athletes; psychological skills; locus of control; sense of coherence
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/1612197X.2006.9671788

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