PSYCHOLOGY BETTER PREDICTOR THAN PHYSIOLOGY
Silva, J. M., Shultz, B. B., Haslam, R. W., Martin, T. P., & Murray, D. F. (1985). Discriminating characteristics of contestants at the United States Olympic Wrestling Trials. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 16, 79-102.
Contestants at the 1984 free-style and Greco-Roman wrestling trials were measured physiologically for wrestling-specific energy systems and psychologically for traits and precompetitive states.
When the two sets of variables were compared for predictive capacity, psychology discriminated qualifiers from non-qualifiers with 78.1% accuracy while physiology was 60.9% accurate. When the 19 total variables were included in a multiple discriminant function, they accounted for 89.06% of the total variance. Six factors from the total model accounted for 70.9% of the variance in the total model.
Implication. At high levels of performance, psychological variables are more important than energy-system related physiological factors. For coaching decisions and training program content at this level, an emphasis on psychological training and control would be more appropriate than a physiologically-dominant orientation.
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