Relationship between playing position in football and selected psychological variables

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Yoo, Ho Sang
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Thesis (M.A.)
School of Physical Education
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The purpose of this investigation was to study the relationship between selected psychological variables and playing position of football players. Subjects were 43 Division I intercollegiate football players. The athletes were categorized as a function of team (offense vs. defense) and position (linemen vs. backfield). Data were analyzed using Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and follow-up ANOVA procedures. In the first analysis, team and playing position were studied relative to psychological skill as measured by the psychological Skills Inventory for Sports (PSIS) (Mahoney, Gabriel, & Perkins, 1987). In the second analysis, team and player position were studied relative to mood states as measured by the Profile of Mood States (POMS) (McNair, Lorr, & Droppleman, 1981). The MANOVA for psychological skills revealed a significant player position main effect (R=.018) and a significant interaction between team (offense vs. defense) and player position (linemen vs. backfield). Univariate post-hoc comparisons revealed least significant differences (LSD) between offensive linemen and offensive backfield players on the psychological dimensions of anxiety and motivation and between defensive linemen and defensive backfield players on anxiety, concentration, and confidence, favoring thebackfield position. In addition, the offensive backfield players were observed to enjoy superior confidence scores when compared with defensive linemen. In general, the psychological skills of backfield players were observed to be superior to linemen, regardless of whether they played offense or defense. The MANOVA on mood states failed to reveal significant differences for the main effect of team, position, or their interaction. Univariate comparisons (LSD) revealed significant differences between linemen and backfield players on the mood state of confusion, favoring backfield players.