Examining the Relationship Between Mental Skills and Grit in Senior Olympic Athletes

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Given the challenge of consistent physical activity among aging adults, it is important to find ways to increase physical activity levels in this population. Participants in the Senior Olympic Games may extend their sport participation through the use of mental skills. This study examined the relationship between mental skills use by Senior Olympic Games participants and their grit, or passion and perseverance, toward a long-term goal. The participants in the Arizona Senior Olympic Games (n = 304) completed an online survey of mental skills use (Athletic Coping Skills Inventory) and grit (Grit Scale-Short). Based on the ongoing validity and reliability issues of the Grit Scale-Short, two regression models were examined, with consistency of interests (passion) and perseverance of effort (perseverance) as dependent variables. After controlling for age and sex, mental skills accounted for 15.2% of the variance in consistency of interests and 13.1% of the variability in perseverance of effort. The results are discussed in light of the findings.

Newland is with the Kinesiology Department, California State University, Chico, CA, USA. Gitelson is with California State University, Chico, CA, USA. Legg is with Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

Newland (Anewland1@csuchico.edu) is corresponding author.
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