Athletic Insight - The Online Journal of Sport Psychology

Construct Study: Power in Sports

Zissis Papanikolaou and Asterios Patsiaouras
University of Thessaly
Trikala, Greece

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ABSTRACT

Introduction

General Domain of Construct

Setting for Observation

Definitions

Review Of Literature

Hypothesized Use of Sport Setting Goals, Expected Relationships Among Measures

Hypothetical Behaviors

Conclusions

References

Distance.Gradschools.com

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to define and explained the construct of Power in Sports. The theoretical framework for studying this construct was defined by Fiske (1971). Power was "defined as a thought about someone "having impact" (McClelland, 1975).All six modes would be used to measure the sub- constructs. Four facets defined under each of the four stages (sub-constructs) with their modes of measure. It is necessary to develop a Psychological Training Program (PSTP) to examine the impact of this construct to the high level and amateur athletes. Further more, we must develop psychological test to measure this construct.

Introduction

       The purpose of this paper is to proceed through the process of defining a construct. Included within this process is the hypothesized use of the sport environment as a setting for transformation to occur within the stages of this construct. The steps for this construct definition will be as follows:

  1. domain of construct
  2. setting for observation
  3. definitions - core of construct, facets, elements, modes of measurement
  4. previous work in the area
  5. description of hypothesized use of the sport setting goals which might nudge the individual toward a transformation

We will try to explain further what maybe causing differences between the theoretical construct and the observation through investigations in sports (Atkinson, 2002).

       The construct selected for study was power. Sport has classically been described as an example of Stage III power development (I have impact on others) (McClelland, 1975). Other Stages are according to McClelland (1975), I = it strengthens me, II = It strengthens myself, and IV = it moves me to do my duty. However, a healthy expression of power might also be found within the other stages, as will be further explained. The mature individual is able to draw from the appropriate stage of power specific to a given situation. Thus, the variety of sport settings available to the Psychological Skills Training Specialist would provide a rich theater in which to express the behaviors of the various stages, to better know oneself in order to accept one's qualities which might surface in certain situations, and to develop comfort in expressing these qualities in a variety of situations.

       The theoretical framework for studying this construct was defined by Fiske (1971). Fiske (1971), in an effort to precisely define and measure personality constructs, carefully and systematically outlined a format for such study. This format is briefly described and followed below. We must study the isolated constructs away from their natural settings before they may be studied in interaction with other constructs. Constructs may be defined as "process . . . an abstraction to help us understand behavior . . . especially the phenomena relevant to personality" (Fiske, 1971, p. 39). Additionally, Fiske (p. 294) further describes a construct as "a formal concept . . . that has been systematically defined, delineated, and perhaps related to other constructs." Fiske outlines several phases in the psychological process leading to the description of a construct. These include (Fiske, p. 41):

  1. "Attending to a stimulus.
  2. Cognizing and interpreting it.
  3. Determining its meaning or significance for the subject.
  4. Reacting to that meaning with feeling (affect).
  5. Wanting to modify the experience.
  6. Acting to execute the want or plan.
  7. Evaluating the success of the action. Following this process allows the researcher to examine and measure phenomena within personality."

       In determining how measurement will occur, we can make general observations following the phases listed above. Next, the researcher develops a concept and defines the core of the construct. Fiske (1971, p. 294) defines a concept to be "an abstract term identifying a class or an attribute . . . used to refer to a dimension of personality phenomena in early stages of theorizing."

       The construct defined should be part of a theoretical frame of reference. Next several modes of measure may be utilized. The more modes used, the more carefully we are able to describe the construct. These modes are briefly defined as follows (Fiske, 1971, pp. 90-93, 97, 70, 72-73):

  1. "Mode I - Self Description - reporting traits, interests, attitudes or feelings through questionnaires, self ratings, or attitude scales
  2. Mode 2 - Current experiencing - perception, judgment, preference or production of interpretation or story through tests of perceived movement, category width, figure preference
  3. Mode 3 – Capabilities - content, operation, product through tests of ability, achievement, cognitive style, and knowledge of special interest area
  4. Mode 4 - Prior behavior - identity designated behaviors or give your impression of subject through ratings by associates or records
  5. Mode 5 - Observation of behavior - observer questions or records responses to projective tests or observes interactions through interview, projective tests or situational tests
  6. Mode 6 – Psychophysiology - breathing, sweating, muscle tension, heart rate, blood pressure through pneumograph, psychogalvanometer, or cardiograph."

       As modes of measurement are utilized, sub-contracts are identified. Both modes and sub-constructs are related to the core construct. Fiske (1971, p. 299) defines sub-construct to be "a portion or form of a construct, usually one designated as a target for measuring procedures; e.g., the construct as observed in one mode."

       Next, the sub-construct is further broken down into facets and elements. Facets are "a basis for classifying a set of complex observation or data pertinent to a construct, as obtained by one mode (Fiske, 1971, p. 296). Examples of facets would be behavioral, situational, motivational, and sensory. Elements as parts of facets would then be delineated. Thus, we might summarize Fiske's (1971) steps as follows:

  1. Identify the core of the construct from the general concept
  2. Select the phases of the psychological process involved
  3. Identify sub-constructs and modes to measure each
  4. Identify facets and elements for each sub-construct
  5. Identify the theoretical back round--review of literature
  6. Describe expected relationships among measures.

       These steps, in conjunction with the five steps outlined at the beginning of the Introduction will be followed in defining the construct, need for Power.

General Domain of Construct

       The general domain of the construct would be described as control or the potential of having an effect or dealing with forces greater than I. Included in this general concept would be the control of the urge to defend, destroy or attack (McClelland, 1975). Other possible constructs, which might be a part of this general domain, are aggression and assertion (in addition to power).

Setting for Observation

       The setting for the observation would include any age with some interest in some form of the sport setting. Ideally, the individual would be any age from school entry throughout life.

Definitions

Core of the Construct

       Power was "defined as a thought about someone "having impact" (McClelland, 1975, p. 7). These feelings about having impact became present in one of three ways. The first involved some type of action. These were varied and could include aggressive acts; assaults, providing advice, help, or assistance, attempting to influence or control another; persuading; or impressing another. The second way to have impact could be through an action, which led to emotions in someone else. An example of this might occur when those around the subject cried as the subject left. The final way of having impact was described as the subjects becoming concerned about their reputations. (McClelland, 1975; Yukl, 1989). Sub-constructs - each of the four stages as defined in the review of literature.

Modes to Measure Each Sub-construct - Facets and Elements

       All six modes would be used to measure the sub-constructs. Four facets defined under each of the four stages (sub-constructs) with their modes of measure listed are as follows.

Sensory Facet. Psycholophysiological changes might occur, i.e., blood pressure, heart rate changes.

Behavioral Facet. Behavioral responses measured might be observed body language, verbal responses, and temper responses. Additionally, power behaviors of reading, collecting possessions, competitive behavior, or organizational memberships might be examined.

Motivational Facet. This facet might be broken down into elements of power value orientation, gender differences, level of maturity, life experiences, object and source of power being self or other with a variety of observations and testing situations to examine these elements.

Situational Facet. Situations would be unlimited everyday life settings. The specific one appropriate to this study would be sport.

Modes of Measurement. Mode 1 measurements used might include self - descriptions, reported traits, interests, attitudes, feelings, ratings, autobiographies, responses to the question, "How does it feel. " Mode 2 measurements would include current experiencing such as description of stories or of preferred behaviors. Mode 3 measurements consider capabilities. The use of the Power Value Orientation Test or work as described by Winter (1973), or Stewart (1973) (further - defined in Review of Literature) would be a part of this mode. Mode 4 or prior behavior would involve letters or ratings from others. Mode 5, observations of behavior, would include specific situations involving the presence of a response to power and their observations. Mode 6, use of the psychophysiological tests would examine changes of breathing, heart rate, sweating, blood pressure, or muscle tension when the power motive situation has been created for the subject (Fiske, 1971).

Phases of Psychological Process. All seven phases of the psychological process as outlined by Fiske (1971) would be necessary in the definition of the core of the construct, need for Power. Thus, the individual would need to pass through steps from attending to the stimulus all the way through to the evaluation of some success of the response to the situation.

Review Of Literature

       Historically, humans had always been interested in power. This concern was expressed in mythology and religion. More recently, power was studied with regard to its definition, modes of expression, and need for control. Many such studies were conducted in the early 1950's. That research, along with other work, was summarized in Winter's (1973) book, The Power Motive (McClelland, 1975, p. 5). Many of these studies were case studies, which made the assumption that the measurement reflected change in the object measured. Thus, mercury would rise or fall in the presence or absence of heat, in this approach. An indicator to show change only in what was being measured was difficult to identify. Specific to power, a typical study would create a power motivation in the subjects, and then examine certain behavioral indicators in an effort to determine presence or absence of the power motive (McClelland, 1975)

       Certain problems arose in this approach. Questions attempting to identify level of power or aggression would be asked to the subject. Nature of which descriptive words to use, or how to ask the question became disadvantages. Such self - reports were also influenced by norms about the appropriateness of describing hostile feelings, i.e., "How does it feel?" (McClelland, 1975).

       Another means of studying power would be to examine the response of the subject who had been aroused by the power motive. Problems in this method occurred when the subjects would hold back in their response because of feeling silly, fear of retaliation, or lack of appropriate object with which to respond, i.e., something to hit. Thus, social norms invalidated the use of actions as indicators (McClelland, 1975).

       The most appropriate method of examining the power motive became the use of describing imaginative stories with pictures. Thus, neither subject nor researcher knew what was being asked. Such stories then were not as easily influenced by socially desirable norms. The researcher did not need to initially state what they were looking for in light of missing a certain effect. Thus, subjects were able to write whatever they felt in the stories, and researcher looked for aspects, which appeared or disappeared as the power motive changed (McClelland, 1975).

       Researchers next defined situations, which might cause an arousal in the power motive. Four types of arousal were identified as follows: (a) stories while awaiting the results of an election of self to office; (b) stories after functioning in the role of experimenter; (c) stories after observing a hypnosis demonstration; and (d) stories after viewing a film of the Kennedy inaugural address. From these studies Winter (McClelland, 1975) coded changes and identified themes, which led to the working definition of need for Power as a means to measure the drive for power. Throughout this process, four steps were identified in the measurement process. These were as follows: (a) determination of situations to arouse power; (b) production of resulting effects from the fantasy which are varied; (c) description of coding definition to account for all findings, as well as be objective and make sense; and (d) finally development of a formal definition for the need for Power (McClelland, 1975).

       Additionally, other characteristics became apparent in these written stories. Examples were certain actions subjects could perform to attain power goals, possibilities of such actions back upon the subjects, specific feelings about power, and other thoughts about power and prestige. Winter's (1973) work then resulted in a scoring system (McClelland, 1975). Winter's (1973) work then examined research relating the actions of those with a measured power need. Subjects in these studies were males, aged 30's to 40's. Both social norms and availability of opportunity were factors in the expression of the power motive. One such example given was a person with a high power motivation desiring to be part of competitive teams. However, sports might not be a part of the community, or the individual might be handicapped. As a result of his review of the literature, Winter (1973) found the expression of need for Power in these samples of men to appear in four areas. These four areas were defined as follows: "reading 'sporty' magazines, collecting prestige possessions, engaging in competitive sports, and belonging to various clubs or organizations" (McClelland, 1975, p. 10). Results from one of Winter's (1967) studies were provided in Table 1. This study reflected results from other similar studies whereby these four actions correlated with the need for Power while remaining different or independent from each other. Thus the individual would probably express its need for Power in one way, i.e., same need across individuals with different ways of expressing that need.


Table 1. Winter’s (1967)  Results.

 

Table 1.1.  Action correlates of the need for power

(n = 50 males, average age = 33)

 

 

 

Correlations with:

 

n Power

Activities

1

2

3

4

5

 

1.        Power-oriented reading

2.        Prestige possessions

3.        Competitive sports

4.        Organizational membership

 

-

 

-.03

-

 

.48**

.04

-

 

.43**

-.05

.61**

 

.29**

.25*

.24*

.23*

 

 

(From McClelland et al., 1972. The drinking man, Bar II sample)

*p < .05, **p < .01 in the expected direction

a.  Number of “sporty” magazines listed as read such as Playboy and Sports illustrated.

b. Ownership of items like a color TV set, rifle or pistol, convertible car.

c.  Number of different non-contact sports played.

d. Number of different organization in which membership is listed.

 

McClelland, 1975, p.10.

 


       McClelland (1975) derived a form of classification from this early research, which paralleled the stages of development of Freud and Erikson. Two dimensions, source and object of power, were named. These would come either from inside of the self or outside of the self. This classification was presented in Table 2.


Table 2. McClelland’s (1975) Classification of Power Orientations

 

Table 1.2. A classification of power orientations

 

                                                                                                          Source of Power

 

Object of power:

SELF (to feel stronger) 

 

 

Other

 

Self

 

Definition:

Action Correlate:

Developmental Stage:

Pathology:

Occupations:

Folk tale themes:

OTHERS (to influence)

Definition:

Action Correlage:

Developmental Stage:

Pathology:

Occupations:

Folk tale themes:

 

 

“It” (God, my mother, my leader, food) strengthens me.

Power-oriented reading

I. oral: being supported

Hysteria, drug taking

Client, mystic

Eat, take, leave

 

It (religion, laws, my group) moves me to serve, influence others

Organization membership

IV. Genital mutuality, principled assertion, duty

Messianism

Manager, scientist

We, they ascend, fall

 

I strengthen, control, direct myself

Accumulating prestige possessions

II. Anal: autonomy, will

Obsessive compulsive neurosis

Psychologists, collectors

I, he, have, go find

 

I have an impact (influence) on others

Competitive sports, arguing

III. Phallic: assertive action

Crime

Criminal lawyer, politician, journalist, teacher

Hunt, can

McClelland, 1975, p. 14

 


       Thus, power reading with an outside source to strengthen the object self would be a part of stage or quadrant I (top left). Source and object of power as self would describe the collection of possessions in stage or quadrant II (top right). Self as source impacting on others as object would describe competitive sports, which would fit in stage or quadrant III (lower right). Finally, belonging to an organization would describe both source and object of power as coming from others and would fit into quadrant or stage IV (lower left) (McClelland, 1975).

       Stage I was defined as "It strengthens me" (McClelland, 1975, p. 13). This stage represented the infant with the "it" referring to mother or caretaker that provided support, physically and emotionally. This paralleled the oral stage of Freud. The personality traits that lead us to a particular reaction in someone in this stage are physical responses, such as the acceptance of kisses, consumption of fluids and food, etc. Even a simple handshake leads us to a certain stage with the exchange of bodily fluids that takes place (Fenichel, 1983b,c). The psychological personality traits of an athlete who is at this stage are the following: pessimism, laziness, dependence on others, the need to be taken care of by others, dependence on external motives (extrinsic motivation). In difficult situations, the athlete in this position (stage) will try to find help in somebody powerful with a strong personality. Adults expressing power need in this mode would retain the source of power from others, i.e., spouse, friends. These adults would work for powerful others. An individual with problems in this mode might react hysterically (out of control) or turn to alcohol or drugs. The dependence of individuals in this mode was for strength, and not to feel weak (McClelland, 1975).

       Stage II was defined as "I strengthen myself" (McClelland, 1975, p. 15). This paralleled Freud's anal stage of self - control and self - assertion. The child controlled itself, i.e., responded with, "No." The general personality traits that lead us to a particular reaction in this stage in someone are the use of objects for the same purpose with ??love?? the power and authority, social submission, the miserliness, and the persistence for specific use and order of things (Fenichel, 1983b, c). The psychological characteristics of an athlete’s personality who is at this stage, are his/her great persistence for the accomplishment of his/her goals, his/her stubbornness, his/her powerful will, but also his/her great fear of defeat. Adults in this mode retained source of power from the collection of possessions or in various ways of controlling self. Examples might be in dieting, yoga, or bodybuilding. Often psychologists were found in this mode in their efforts to understand self through understanding others. An individual with problems in this mode might be obsessive compulsive, i.e., exhibiting control of actions and thoughts. While those in Stage I were concerned with loss of others, those in Stage II were concerned with loss of control over oneself. McClelland (1975) pointed out with reference to this Stage II, that one could feel powerful, i.e., express need for Power, without necessarily involving others. Thus, the collection of objects or self - discipline of Stage II power mode would satisfy the need for Power in some individuals. In this situation, others were not involved (McClelland 1975).

       Stage III was defined as "I have impact on others" (McClelland, 1975, p. 17). This paralleled the phallic stage of Freud whereby the individual controlled others. Persuasion and maneuvering might be typical behaviors. Competition became a classic behavior of individuals expressing power need in this mode. Additionally, behavior in this mode might also be expressed in helping others. Giving and receiving were then considered parallel to winning and losing. Classically, teachers, in a helping profession, fit into this mode of need for Power. Additionally, lawyers, politicians, and journalists were drawn to this mode. The psychological traits of the athlete’s personality in this stage are self-destruction, passiveness, and defeatism. The athlete also looks for assurance, and offers help although he/she tries to control the situations and to avoid the dangerous ones and the risks. An individual with problems in this mode might dominate others or commit crimes of murder, stealing, or rape (McClelland, 1975).

       Stage IV was defined as "It moves me to do my duty" (McClelland, 1975, p. 20). This paralleled the genital stage of Freud whereby the male identified with his father as parent in control because he could not win in the competition with his father for his mother. Thus, both sexes became committed to forces beyond themselves. In this stage, individuals were thus concerned with receiving power from a greater authority i.e., laws, group norms, and religion. These people also responded to others specific to this greater authority. They joined an organization, or responded not for their own good, but for the "good of the corporation" (McClelland, 1975, p. 20). The general personality traits that lead us to a particular reaction in this stage are the feelings of inferiority, the lack of respect, the defiance of situation, but also determination (Fenichel, 1983b,c). The psychological characteristics of an athlete at this stage are the following: determination to accomplish his/her goals, the excessive belief in his/her abilities, but also his/her focus on internal (intrinsic) motivation. An individual with problems in this mode would not differentiate between views of the self and the greater authority. Thus, as an instrument of this greater authority, this person might be violent (McClelland 1975).

       With regard to maturity, McClelland (1975) pointed out that one would need to be at a higher developmental stage to respond at a Stage IV, level of power. Specifically, someone never moving beyond Stages I or II, in dealing with need for Power would be limited in responding to a variety of circumstances. McClelland cited examples whereby therapy worked toward goals of helping individuals move from Stage I to Stage II to control themselves, or from Stage II to Stage III to develop some level of self assertion. However, McClelland stated that therapy did not necessarily attempt to move individuals into Stage IV to work for the ideal, although a higher level of maturation was required for functioning in this stage. Thus, while individuals in Stage IV might function better in organizations, seek help as needed, and respond more openly with others, these people more importantly had moved through all stages successfully and could select the necessary mode for power expression specific to the given situation. Thus, McClelland concluded that the selection of the appropriate mode of power expression specific to the given situation described maturity. On the other hand, the selection of inappropriate modes of power expression specific to a situation, or being locked into one mode would exemplify immaturity (McClelland, 1975).

       With regard to measuring need for Power, Winter's questionnaire with its many revisions used by others often led to low reliability in results. McClelland (1975) attributed these differences to the expression of power being different given the particular stage of development of the individual. Thus, level of maturity would have impact on the expression of the need for Power. McClelland stated that an additional measure of the level of social emotional maturity needed to be determined to properly determine the outlet for expression of need for Power. McClelland described Stewart's (1973) development of such a measure. Her stages were described in Table 3.


Table 3.  Stewart’s Social – Emotional Maturity.

 

Table 2.1. A brief outline of the Stewart coding system for social – emotional maturity

 

Criterion group:

 

High oral intake

 

Excessive bedtime rituals

Thematic elements

A.    Relation to authority

B.    Relation to people/objects

C.    Feelings

D.    Action

 

Stage I (Intake)

Authority is benevolent

Gets what he wants

Loss, despair

Passive

 

Stage II (Autonomy)

 Authority critical

Doesn’t get what he  wants

Incompetence (unable)

Clears disorder

Criterion group:

 

Mutuality on making love

 

Sexual exploitation

 

A.    Relation to authority

 

B.    Relation to people/objects

C.    Feelings

 

D.    Action

 

 

Stage IV (Generativity)

Removed from personal authorities

Differentiates among them

Complex mixtures of joy and sorrow

Schedules what is to be done as appropriate

 

Stage III (Assertion)

Rebels against authority

 

Escapes

Hostility, anger

 

Leads to failure

McClelland, 1975, p.36

 


       Examples of Stage I, Oral behavior would include regular meal times and smoking. Stage II, Anal behavior would involve daily rituals. Stage III, Phallic behavior would include sexual reputation to be important. Stage IV, Genital behavior would involve sexual relationships with one individual, i.e., "love and work" (McClelland, 1975, p. 34) of Freud. One important aspect of this coding which would have impact on the sporting situation was her classification of relationship to someone having authority. Stage I response to authority was "benevolent," Stage II "critical," Stage III "rebelling and Stage IV little personal, but "institutional or abstract" (McClelland, 1975, p. 35).

       In his research, McClelland (1975) found a relationship between Stewart's maturity levels and the expression of the power motive. Thus, the expression of power appeared differently, specific to these stages of development. Additionally, McClelland's research supported sex differences in the expression of power. Throughout the developmental stages, men with a strong need for Power often became emotional, tense, and willing to argue. They thought about their effects on change in the world. Women with such a need were found to think about themselves and their bodies. Their concern seemed to be in sharing while men wanted to move forward (McClelland, 1975).

Hypothesized Use of Sport Setting Goals, Expected Relationships Among Measures

       The ability to use all six modes of measure will provide a more precise examination of the construct, need for Power. These can further clarify the position of the individual within the four stages. Hypothesized use of the sport setting might suggest the use of the following goals:

  1. Recognition of the importance of the present developmental stage of the individual,
  2. Identify the stage of power the individual is primarily working within,
  3. Recognize healthy applications of this power need for each stage,
  4. Nudge the individual to the next stage - using the sport-setting as a place to "try the behavior",
  5. Assist the individual in their ability to choose the appropriate stage given the situation, as an indication of maturity as defined by McClelland (1975).

Hypothetical Behaviors

       In Stage 1, athletes might play because they like the coach. This might satisfy a need to please others. Athlete serves the coach and needs to be told every move. Types of sport would include any whereby the athlete would express concern for performing well for a coach. Coaches in this stage might let the team become the source of power. In a sense, the coach serves the team (source other, object self).

       In Stage II, an athlete would play for competition against oneself. This person might do individual sports - triathlon, marathon whereby there might well be a greater competition, there is also competition against oneself and for oneself. Coaches in this stage might accumulate possessions - awards, (source and object self).

       In Stage III, classic competition, an athlete would play to win and possibly also to give help to others. This would include an attraction to team sports. Coaches in this stage, a classic teaching and coaching stage, would provide help to others, (source self, object other).

       In Stage IV, the athlete would play for the greater good of all, i.e., the team, even at the expense of individual honor. Any team sport would be appropriate, as well as any other activity whereby results are attributed to a team honor. Coaches, as well, would function for the good of the corporation, i.e., the team (source and object other), (Janssen, 1995).

       The ??jump?? from one stage to another that a person can make is time-consuming procedure and sometimes the passing of one stage to an other is not discreet (Barton, 1979). We must consider the fact that the changes do not happen consciously but subconsciously, something that establishes the direct influence and challenge of changes from the person himself, but also with the interference of outside stimuli. It is very difficult (Fenichel, 1983a,b,c). The experiences that each athlete has and make him/her happy leads him/her to the general acceptance of the particular stage in which he/she is at the moment. However this situation makes the development difficult for each athlete in many ways. When an athlete does not believe that he/she is satisfied enough from a stage, he/she will always try to reach the satisfaction that he/she owes to himself/herself or the happiness that was created at some stage does not give the right motivation or the need of improvement and the change of one stage to another for the same athlete. On the other hand when a person reaches a specific stage and comes across difficulties, he/she tries to live again the previous enjoyment, which he/she experienced in the previous stage and goes back (regress) to that stage (Fenichel, 1983a,b,c).

Conclusions

       This paper has outlined the study of a construct, ??the need for power?? within a specific framework, i.e., that of Fiske (1971). It has then examined some hypothetical uses of the sport setting as a theater for the work of a Psychological Skills Training program to nudge an individual among the stages and to practice appropriate behaviors in the certain situations. This would, in turn, allow that individual to select the appropriate stages as an indication of maturity. Furthermore, we must develop a psychological test to measure this construct. In this case, we can find the differences between the observed score and the hypothetically correct score (Atkinson, 2002).

       More specifically, first of all, a coach or a sport psychologist with the verbal and non-verbal communication may ascertain the congruence between the verbal and non verbal behavior of an athlete, note or respond to discrepancies between verbal and non-verbal messages, respond to a non-verbal behaviors, focus on nonverbal behaviors to change the content of a discussion and note changes in athletes nonverbal behavior that have occurred in the stages or through intervention (Cormier, Cormier, 1991). Intervention and changes may occur through various techniques, such as biofeedback, cognitive behavior modification, anxiety management training, psychotherapy and attentional control, so that an athlete can be taught to identify and modify undesirable psychological responses that may occur before and during the intervention. This problem can be solved through self-regulation techniques that help athletes to maintain the desirable responses (Silva, Weinberg, 1984; Patsiaouras, 1999).

       Delimitations of our knowledge about the time that our athletes are in one of the four specific stages is the reason why we do not have secured evidence from relatives and acquaintances, documents, and test data, as we mentioned before, due to the lack of psychological tests in this area and the methodological problems that accompany the research of subconscious acts (Hall, Lindzey, 1970).

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