How Different Sports Establish Different Athletic Identity Levels

Helen (Masoumeh) Hadiyan, Mahmoud Sheikh


Background: In order for coaches and sport psychologist help athletes to improve their athletic identity, they need to be aware of athletes’ athletic identity with different sporting background. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine different levels of athletic identity among different types of sports and also more specifically, between team and individual sports. Methodology: A sample of 107 athletes (57 women and 50 men) who were members of national teams in taekwondo, karate, wushu, basketball, volleyball, and canoe polo were selected. Athletic identity questionnaire was used. To identify athletic identity and its four sub categories differences among six groups and also between team and individual sports One way Manova and independent T-test were used respectively. Results: The findings showed that different sports influence athletic identity. F (2,350) = 5.41, p < 0.005. The highest athletic identity was observed within taekwondo athletes. The second and third highest were in karate and wushu athletes, followed by basketball, volleyball, and canoe polo. Canoe polo was the only team that had significant differences in total athletic identity, and three sub categories: self-identity, social identity, and exclusively compared to other sports. While karate athletes had the highest exclusively, taekwondo athletes had the highest score on self-identity, social identity, and negative affectivity. There was no significant difference on negative affectivity among all six groups, indicating that facing up to a fail or physical injury is very difficult for all athletes. Conclusion: The findings suggest coaches and sport psychologists should take these different identity levels and the reasons causing them into account when they work with different athletes within different sports.
Keywords: Athletic identity (AI (, self-identity, social identity, negative affectively, exclusively

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