Psicología de los juegos olímpicos: la percepción de los entrenadores

S. Serpa, T. Castro


Recent studies (Gould, 2001a, b, Greenleaf et al., 2001) have found that specific characteristics are required for Olympic competition. This means that a special psychological attitude must be adopted by athletes. At the same time, a close relationship between coaches and athletes is generally seen as essential in maximizing the athletes performance, and coaches therefore play a very important role in the whole process of the athletes psychological preparation. The general purpose of this research study was to examine coaches perceptions of the specific needs and commitments that are required for the Olympic Games and the way in which athletes must adapt psychologically. Nine Portuguese coaches, who accompanied their athletes to the Sydney Olympic Games, participated in the study. In five cases, their athletes results met/exceeded their expectations, while in the remaining four cases the results were lower than expected. Structured interviews were used to compile data, which was then analysed according to procedures recommended by Miles and Huberman (1984). The conclusions show that the coaches regard the Olympics as having specific characteristics that make the games unique in comparison with other international events. These factors led the athletes to react differently in relation to other major sporting events, with either positive or negative repercussions on their performance. Furthermore, a different reaction to the specific difficulties that the Olympic Games involve was seen to have been made by those athletes that performed the best and those that performed the worst.

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Copyright (c) 2007 S. Serpa, T. Castro