The purpose of this study was to compare and contrast coping skills, motivational profiles and perceived climate in elite young ice hockey, soccer, water polo and volleyball players. It was also our aim to examine how male and female athletes differ in the above mentioned psychometric measures. Men's soccer (n=23) and ice hockey (n=20), and also women's volleyball (n=15) and water polo (13) players ranged in age from 16 to 18 years (M age=17.17, SD=.85). Each team was a finalist in last year's national championship for their age group. The instruments used in this study included the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire-2 (PMCSQ-2), The Sport Motivation Scale (SMS), and the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28). Cooperative learning does not tend to be high, as one would expect in elite team players. Ice hockey and soccer players usually had higher psychometric measures than water polo and volleyball players. Also, male athletes demonstrate better ACSI-28, PMCSQ-2, and SMS measures than their female counterparts in many of the variables. Amotivation seems to be the most important decisive factor both among team sports and male and female participants. Also, our results prove that there are major differences between young elite male and female team players, so coaches' work in most aspects of their work should be gender-specific. Coaches of youth teams have to understand the motivational factors and coping strategies their athletes demonstrate in order to optimally organize and plan the teaching-learning process in their exercises, especially focus on cooperative task-solving exercises.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.