PSYCHOLOGICAL PREDICTORS OF BASEBALL BATTING PERFORMANCE
Friend, H. J. (1988). Predicting baseball player performance. Dissertation Abstracts International-B, 49(05), 1988.
This study consisted of establishing a prediction system for baseball players (N = 196). Psychological measures employed were the Profile of Mood States (POMS), Levenson's Multidimensional Locus of Control (LOC), which was modified for sport, and a measure of motivation, the Sports Motivation Survey (SMS). Coaches rated players' physical abilities for hitting, pitching, and defensive skills. All measures were used as predictors of performance.
Anger (POMS-A) and tension (POMS-T) subscales were the two strongest psychological predictors of performance. Using multiple regression, batting skills and the POMS-A accounted for about 33% of the variance in runs batted in and 11% of the variance in slugging percentage. The LOC and SMS did not substantially predict performance; however, feedback from coaches showed that scores on these measures that ranged within one standard deviation above and below the mean were suggestive of consistent play. Morgan's (1974, 1979, 1980) research describing the "Iceberg Profile" appears to have little, if any, predictive relationship to subsequent baseball player performance. The overall results of this research suggest that certain subscales are somewhat indicative of specific types of performance.
Implication. Some psychological factors, anger (aggression) and tension (arousal) and specific skill ability predict modest portions of baseball players' batting performances.
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