Mood States of Olympic Developmental Male Soccer Athletes
Role of Science in Talent Identification
Keywords:team sports, skill position, adolescent, emotional maturity
Athletes at Olympic Developmental Program (ODP) camps experience high levels of expectations and mental and physical challenges in short spans of time. With the increasing emphasis on talent development, ODP staff members have been pressed to clearly define present levels of psychological indices such as mood states, to enhance athletic prediction, maximize training efforts, identify the predisposition to injury, and focus on areas pertinent to successful performance. This study examined mood states of U.S. ODP soccer athletes not previously investigated. Following written informed consent, 80 males completed the Profile of Mood States. Data were analyzed by competitive level (U-14, U-15), and skill position (goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward). MANOVA indicated a main effect across competitive level (Wilks’ λ F6,73 = 3.101; p = .007; n-β = .923) but no significant effect by skill position (Wilks’ λ F2,73 = 0.883; p = .614; n-β = .648). Post hoc analyses indicated that U-15 athletes scored significantly higher in vigor (p = .0001), but significantly lower in tension (p = .016), depression (p = .027), anger (p = .008), fatigue (p = .011), confusion (p = .042), and total mood disturbance (p = .001) than U-14 competitors. In conclusion, older, more experienced athletes revealed more positive mood states than younger, less experienced athletes, although athletes in attacking positions (midfielders, forwards) did not exhibit more positive mood states than those positions requiring reaction and protection (goalkeepers, defenders).
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