Effects of a Psychology–based training programme on football grassroots coaches upon young player’s sportspersonship and disposition to cheat

Jaume Cruz, Francisco Javier Ponseti, Miguel Sampaio, Juan Manuel Gamito, André Marqués, José Viñas, Marta Borrueco, Laura Carvalho, Alexandre García-Mas


The objective of this study was to evaluate sportspersonship, gamesmanship and cheating in a sample of soccer players before and after their coaches completed the 10 lessons of the Psytool program on these topics. The participants were 20 coaches and 189 male soccer players from 13 to 18 years of age from two first division clubs in Spain and Portugal, who completed the questionnaires: Predisposition to Cheating in Sports (CDED) and Multidimensional Sportspersonship Orientations Scale. (MSOS). The results indicate that at the beginning of the season the young players showed a moderate acceptance of cheating and a high acceptance of gamesmanship, while after the intervention with the coaches the acceptance of cheating and gamesmanship decreased significantly. With regard to sportspersonship, at the beginning of the season players showed a high acceptance of Respect for the rules and the referees as well as for the opponents and a moderate acceptance of social conventions and sports commitment. On the other hand, at the end of the season, respect for rules and referees and for opponents decreases and respect for social conventions and commitment increased. Thus, the intervention was effective in several aspects, although not in all variables, probably because the intervention was only done with one of the agents of change: coaches.


Psytool, Fair Play, Cheating, Gamesmanship, Grassroots Sports, Football.

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