The Study of Influence Basketball Players’ Mental Toughness and Xinbao WANG

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The Study of Influence Basketball Players’ Mental Toughness and Xinbao WANG
Psychology Research 15 (2014) 1838—658X
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Psychology Research
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The Study of Influence Basketball Players’ Mental Toughness and
Hardiness on the Sport Performance
Xinbao WANG1,, Jinping XIONG2
1. Department of Physical Education, Jiangxi Normal University, 330022, P.R.China
2. School of Physical Education, Nanchang Aviation University, 330063, P.R.China
Basketball player,
Mental toughness and hardiness,
Sport performance
Mental toughness and hardiness is one of the necessary psychological qualities an excellent
athlete should be qualified. It consists of three parts, commitment, control, and challenge. With
the methods of documentary, questionnaire and mathematical statistics, analyze the
relationship of mental toughness and hardiness and basketball performance. Research the
athletes’ mental toughness and hardiness problems, especially teenage athletes psychological
tenacity for selected excellent talents, improving athletic competition ability has the important
practical significance. This research is based on the hypothesis that mental toughness and
hardiness is positively related to basketball performance. Eight quantitative indices of
basketball performance showed sufficient Interco relation to form a composite score. Mental
toughness and hardiness scores obtained on high-school male, varsity players before the season
began were correlated to a composite measure of basketball performance throughout the
season, with result that supports the hypothesis. The aim of this research is to improve teenage
basketball player’s mental skill levels to provide the reference.
1 Introduction
As is known to all, since Kobasa put forward the concept of resilience character in 1979, there has been a heated debate on mental
toughness and hardiness in the research field of character and health psychology. According to the existing research, resilience can
cushion the relationship between stress and disease, and it’s the best index to indicate health. In the field of athletic psychology, mental
toughness and hardiness is one of the necessary psychological qualities an excellent athlete should be qualified. Athletic refers to the
quality that an individual would not be easily beaten despite the realization of threat while doing some sports. It mainly includes
commitment, command and challenge. Commitment is the individual’s perception of life and meaning which manifests by getting
involved in life incidents positively instead of being involved in negatively. Command is the belief an individual possesses to change
life incidents through his own effort under whose guidance actions are taken to influent life incidents instead of being cornered.
Challenge is that an individual wishes to study further from the positive and negative experience. The individual holds the view that
change is a normal state of life, serving as a driving force of growth rather than a threat to security. Subsequent researchers name the
combination of commitment, command and challenge as the 3C structure. According to the research, those who possess strong
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: [email protected]
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commitment believe that they can influent surroundings through struggle. While some people believe that the sense of command is not
enough to relieve the side effect of mental toughness and hardiness. Therefore, the search on athletes’, especially adolescent athletes’
mental toughness and hardiness problem, is quite meaningful to select qualified person and promote the ability of athletics competition.
This article adopts questionnaire survey and mathematical statistics to research on the influence of teenager basketball player’s mental
toughness and hardiness on the athletic performance, in order to handle the mental toughness and hardiness condition of the adolescent
athletes in China, to explore whether there’s a relation between mental toughness and hardiness and athletic performance and to provide
reference to improve their psychological accomplishment.
2 The Objects and Methods of Research
2.1 The objects of research
With the coaches’ approval, 38 sportsmen from Jiangxi Athletic and Sports School, the middle school attached to Jiangxi Normal
University and the middle school attached to Nanchang University were picked randomly as the objects of research. They are 16.42 to
20.28 years old on average, and their training extension is 6.3 to 9.8 years.
2.2 The method of research
(1) Questionnaire: The Personal Views Survey, RVS-ⅢR, which includes 18 columns revised by Maddi, was used. The table includes
6 columns: 3 sub-tables, commitment, command and challenge. We used the method of unified test, guiding examinees with guidelines
to fill in the questionnaire. 300 papers were released and 288 valid questionnaires were handed in. The valid recycle rate is 96%.
(2) The management of data: The statistical package of SSPS for windows 10.1 was used to count, manage and analyze.
2.3 The process of question
We took the 38 masculine athletes as examinees and research on the relationship between the training periods. The numbers on the
examinees’ sports shirt rather than their names were used on the athletes’ school report card. Athletes’ performance statistical result
was got from their coach at the end of the sports competition season and the statistical results were taken down with numbers. The
whole questionnaire and performance statistics were got from 38 boys from 3 schools. The test of basketball performance: The coach
provide as with statistical result over the sports competition season. There are 8 variations: match, average scores, shooting average,
free throw percentage, rebound number, secondary interception attack, and quick attack.
3 The Result of Research
3.1 The validity of the questionnaire
As the questionnaire is a foreign one, the believability and validity of the questionnaire must be inspected. The total score of mental
toughness and hardiness test, promise, control and challenge are listed in Table 1.
Table 1 Interco relations of mental toughness and hardiness components (N=38)
1. Commitment
2. Control
3. Challenge
4. Total score of resilience
** p<.01.
3.2 Interco relations of basketball performance components
Table 2 Interco relations of basketball performance components (N=38)
1. Games played
2. Mean points scores
3. Shooting percentage
4. Free throw percentage
5. Mean rebounds
6. Mean assists
7. Mean steals
8. Mean turnovers
9. Total performance
In the Table 2, the eight variables of basketball performance indicate their correlativity, getting the average number±0.46 (N=38,
P<0.05). Although among the co-relativities, shooting-hit rate doesn’t show significance; other variables are all correlated to the total
score significantly. These results show that the total standard score of this variable makes up the total score of basketball match.
3.3 Interco relations of hardiness and basketball performance estimates
Table 3 indicates the relevance between resilience and performance’s variables. The resilience’s total score and basketball test shows
that the correlativity between them is P=0.004. Really, the estimation of mental toughness and hardiness is correlated to basketball
performance significantly, there into; free throw percentage can predict basketball performance but not the score of mental toughness
and hardiness.
Table 3 Interco relations of hardiness and basketball performance estimates (N=38)
Total score
Basketball performance
percentage rebounds
4 Conclusion
Research results support the assumption: the positive correlation is presented between mental toughness and hardiness and basketball
performance. Basketball’s valid scores are a little bit similar to the competition in the commercial and military exercises, which include
the efforts of both individuals and the whole team. But basketball has a speedy reaction rate, including many unexpected and uncertain
changes. Sports performance contains all kinds of mental decisions and reaction patterns. Therefore a player must have a sound body.
The success of sports results from the interaction between many special factors and general factors. We suppose that personality
resilience can present the proper relationship between basketball performance and general promise, control and challenge. The team
members with low mental toughness and hardiness might have a threatening feeling of being isolated. The relation between mental
toughness and hardiness, as a generally overall factor, and the other factors is significant. This factor contributes to improving the
basketball performance, as well as other general and special factors. Mental toughness and hardiness, thereby, isn’t deemed to special
factor, especially its relevance with basketball performance can be regarded as one of the elective factors of excellent players in such
task. This research strengthens mental toughness and hardiness’s structure efficiency as the general feature of personality.
In the matches, mental toughness and hardiness is related to not only the frequency of matches, but also their effectiveness. That is to
say, the coach’s decision on players’ playing time, at least, can decide how to strive for the victory. Therefore this theory that frequency
is related to effectiveness is confirmed in this research.
In this research, the irrelevant factor between basketball performance and mental toughness and hardiness is shooting percentage,
including applied estimating scores. Free throw is the only one that operates in quiet circumstances, in which the general changes and
unpredictability are inclined to stop. Perhaps mental toughness and hardiness impedes players from performing themselves well in
quiet circumstances. Free throw seems to be a technology demanding the least cooperation. However in the Table 3, mental toughness
and hardiness highly relates to secondary attack.
In this research, it is necessary to test psychological resilience before the competition season as the performance test predicts the whole
season. At least, using specialized test will not affect the score of mental toughness and hardiness before sports competition season.
However, the score of pre-competition mental toughness and hardiness has effects on performance. In a word, the result of this research
comes to a further conclusion: the effective training of mental toughness and hardiness should be a effective way for basketball players
to improve performance.
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