The Relationship between Psychological Skills, Experience, and Practice Commitment among Collegiate Male and Female Skiers

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Sally A. White University of New Hampshire

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The Psychological Skills Inventory for Sport (PSIS; Mahoney, 1988) identifies certain psychological skills or characteristics possessed by successful athletes. However, little has been done to connect the PSIS with other variables that may have an impact on the athletes’ psychological skills. Therefore the purpose of this study was twofold. First, the psychometric properties of the PSIS for all subjects and by gender were determined. Second, the relationship between the PSIS, experience, practice commitment, and gender of collegiate skiers was examined. A random sample of 131 male and female collegiate skiers responded to the 45-item PSIS. Overall, the six PSIS subscales (anxiety, concentration, confidence, mental preparation, motivation, and team emphasis) demonstrated acceptable internal reliability (coeff. alpha = .69−.84). Results of a 4 × 3 × 2 (Experience × Practice Commitment × Gender) MANOVA and follow-up univariate F tests revealed a significant gender effect on the team emphasis subscale. Female collegiate skiers were more team oriented than male collegiate skiers and placed more importance on the social and affiliative aspects of being on a team than did their male counterparts.

Sally A. White is with the Dept. of Physical Education, 209 Hampshire Hall, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824.

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