Sports Training

Performance strategies of greek track and field athletes: Gender and level differences


Kapodistrian University of Athens, Faculty of Physical Education
and Sport Science – Track and Field Department

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Psychological skills play an important role in athletic performance. The aim of the present study was to examine
possible differences in the use of psychological skills of
Greek track and field athletes of different gender and level.
The sample consisted of 364 track and field athletes (241
males, 123 females), aged 18.9 ± 3.9 years, with different
level (elite – non elite). The Test of Performance Strategies
(TOPS) was used. The participants completed the TOPS
questionnaire during the precompetitive period. The results
showed that elite level athletes were significantly better
compared to non elite in emotional control, goal setting, imagery, activation, negative thinking and relaxation. Also, male athletes had better emotional control and used more
relaxation, compared to females. Among elite level athletes,
gender differences in psychological skills remained, with females displaying less effective emotional control and relaxation. The differences between athletes of different gender
and level could be considered from coaches and sport psychologists in order to help athletes improve their athletic

KEYWORDS: test of performance strategies, psychological skills, athletics, sports, training for sports performance

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