Article Details

Personality Development and Sports |

Dr. K. M. Valsaraj, in International Journal of Physical Education & Sports Sciences | Physical Education, Health, Fitness & Sports


Physical education teachers and coaches have long beeninterested in the positive and negative effect of participation in sports onthe development of an individual's personality. Although it has been shown thatan individual's personality is formed early in life, some experts believe thatpersonality may be modified by later experiences. Some psychologists theorizethat participation in athletics can contribute to personality development. In some cases competitive athletics satisfy basic needssuch as recognition, belonging, self-respect and feeling of achievement andprovide a wholesome outlet for the drive for physical activity and creativity,these are desirable psychological effects that aid in molding socially acceptedpersonalities, at the same time, however, competitive athletics can produceharmful effects.  Two factors that mayadversely affect an individual's personality are an over emphasis or winning bycoaches and parents and placing individuals in situation not suited for theirphysical activity. Many sports psychologists have studied the relationshipbetween personality and sports performance. Researches addressed questions suchas "Do athletes differ from non-athletes?" "Can athlete incertain sports be distinguished from athletes in other sports on the basis oftheir personality?" "Do individuals participate in certain sportsbecause of their personality characteristics?" "Do highly skilledathletes have different personality profiles than less skilled athletes in thesame sport?" "Are there certain personality traits that can predictan athlete's success in sports?" Sports psychologist's findings have revealedcontradictory answers to each of these questions. Here in this paper, writershave tried to discuss all these possibilities of participation in sports onpersonality development briefly.