What Affects Athlete's Sport Performance in Junior Basketball

Introduction:

 

Transition Sport's feels strongly about athletes and their mental and emotional wellbeing. We conducted a study to examine how an athlete playing junior basketball feels their performance is affected by external and internal factors. A great range of emotions has been observed in sport, including: anxiety, frustration, disappointment, happiness, hope and anger. This study was used to highlight how athletes mentally and emotionally view their coach and others, such as parents or friends. 

Method:

 

Representative/ domestic players and coaches of: Under(u)10s, u12s, u14s, u16s and u18s.

A email was sent out to participants that ranged from u10s go u18s playing domestic/ representative basketball detailing the study and attached questionnaire. Participants conducted the questionnaire in their own time so no external factors influenced answers made. Their task was to complete a 25-question multiple choice and short answer response detailing how they reflect on their sports performance. 

Overall Attitude to Basketball

Players demonstrated strong enjoyment and commitment to basketball. However, there is room for improvement in how team mates respects and values an individual. Also, athletes attitude towards mental and emotional skills has the lowest attitude rating. 

Players perceive that the scoreboard (if behind during game and a loss) negatively impacts their coach. Whilst 1 in 2 believe that outside influences impact on their game.

Discussion:

 

Comparison between girls and boys:

 

Interestingly the greatest difference in relation to boys and girl athletes, is their perceived view of their physical skill, boys 30% and girls 81%. Girls also felt more strongly about commitment, team respect, coach respect/values and small percentage higher in enjoyment.

 

Gender Stereotyping:

 

Gender stereotyping is a process where a childs biological sex controls the activities they engage in or do not engage in, including the manner in which they are treated in these activities. Sports are usually considered a masculine area, and this stereotype results in boys' having greater ability and seeing greater importance in participation in sports than that of girls.  This ideal contributes to the differences that exist between boys and girls within sport. From the data created within the overall attitude between boys and girls it is evident that girls perceive themselves to not only be enjoying the sport more but also being more committed and receiving respect and value from team mates and also coaches. This information goes against many previous studies on boys and girls engagement in sport.

Differences Between Age Groups:

 

All players in every age group state they enjoy playing basketball, the biggest difference between the 5 age groups is the u 12s rate low in being respected and valued by their coach and team mates. Over the age groups there was a slight decreasing trend in the connection, respect and value the athlete has with their coach. And oppositely the respect and value the athlete has with team mates.

As age group increases so does: if the team is behind it negatively impacts the coach, outside influences negatively impact their personal game, if behind in a game it affects their play and if losing it affect them individually. Through the age groups confidence diminishes the older the age group. This could be due to many things such as: team mates, coaches, competition, internal and external factors.

View on competence:

 

Girls are more positive about their game than boys, skill competencies peak at U14s; whilst decision making and leadership gradually increases from U12 thru to U16s.  Opportunity to improve positive impact as a team player in U12s and U14s.

External skills sets are seen as more addressable improvement opportunities for all players.  Girls are more likely to identify decision making as an area for improvement.  Improvement in leadership qualities a key aspect when moving from U14s to U16s.

 

Conclusion:

 

Transition Sports believes that mental and emotional wellbeing when involved in sport is as important as physical wellbeing and ability. It is evidently hard to gauge true answers individually or in groups without external factors affecting it, this study reached out to athletes to take time when not affected by these things to answer the questions as truly as possible. This resulted in surprising statistical differences that past studies have not focused on as a whole. Having strong and healthy mental and emotional wellbeing's will create a plethora of positive affects on children and their involvement in sport early in life and throughout life. Transition Sports since day one has worked to make athletes mental/emotional and physical wellbeing the number one priority.