Volp, A., & Keil, U. (1987). The relationship between performance, intention to drop out, and intrapersonal conflict in swimmers. Journal of Sport Psychology, 9, 358-375.

Competitive swimmers between 13 and 26 years of age were studied and rated according to performance. A conflict questionnaire concerning motives was devised. Questions ranked myself, competitive sport, proportion of success and failure, other hobbies, coach, training, companions, potential for athletic improvement, job, and teammates. An emphasis was placed on dropping out.

High level performers showed less conflict and more intensive use of cognitive conflict reduction mechanisms (coping strategies) than did medium- and low-level swimmers. Dropouts had higher conflict scores in areas relating to athletic performance than did continuing athletes.

Implication. Conflict in swimming seems to affect the motivation to participate. It would be a good coaching strategy to minimize conflict in both training and competitive settings.

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