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Title: The role of intelligence in sports
Author: Vaughan, Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 6057 4727
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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Success in sport is often attributed to excellence in both the physical and mental domains of performance. Factors such as anxiety, pressure and fatigue are all associated with performance and must be successfully overcome in order to achieve success in a variety of sport scenarios. The ability of an athlete to successfully negotiate these factors whilst also effectively completing physical and mental tasks simultaneously could indicate characteristics of an intelligent athlete. The aim of this research is to create a new typology of sport intelligence. A mixed methods approach adopting quantitative, qualitative and experimental research designs was used with a range of participants from different sports. The first study investigated the relationship between emotional intelligence (El), cohesion and personality in team and individual athletes in a sample of 330 athletes. Structural Equation Modelling revealed that El had a unique contribution to the variance beyond traditional personality (as a nested latent structure) with cohesion as a moderating variable; age, gender, type of sport and frequency of playing sport were also incorporated. The second study examined cognitive abilities between non, amateur and elite athletes and the influence of EI and mood (N = 256). Results indicated a significant difference in cognition with post hoc analysis suggesting a significant difference between elite athletes and non and amateur athletes, with elite athletes scoring higher. A model incorporating all the variables was supported indicating that El and mood explained significant portions of the variance in cognition. The third and final study explored 28 expert coaches’ perspectives of the intelligent athlete, which extended the model into an applied context. The themes which emerged from the focus groups indicated that athletes with higher levels of intelligence are more efficient learners in a sports context which provides numerous competitive advantages e.g. efficient motor skill acquisition and execution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available