Psychological characteristics of elite and non-elite level gymnasts



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Texas A&M University


Literature has indicated that there are psychological characteristics in elite athletes of various sports that are significantly different than those of non-elite level athletes. The purpose of this study was to discover the different psychological characteristics associated with elite level gymnasts, and contrast the results with psychological characteristics of competitive gymnasts of other levels using the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28. Participants in this study were 195 gymnasts from gymnastics training centers throughout the United States. Results indicated that there was a significant difference in the Personal Resources Score (PCR) between the elite gymnast and all other levels. Furthermore, a significant difference was demonstrated among four of the seven sub-scales making up the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28. The study supports the hypothesis that the psychological make-up of "elite" level gymnasts is different than that of other competitive gymnastics levels.