Loughborough University study shows personality goes a long way to gaining Olympic gold
20 June 2012
Positivity, confidence and support from family, friends and coaches are among the key ingredients needed to achieve success at the Olympic Games, according to a study by academics at Loughborough University.
Two psychologists from the leading sports University interviewed twelve Olympic champions whilst compiling their research, which will be used to help Team GB athletes as they use Loughborough's facilities to prepare for the Games.
The first of these was a general sense of positivity; the psychologists found that successful athletes possessed positive personalities and were generally optimistic, proactive and open to new experiences.
They also shared a high level of motivation and focus, along with good self confidence, which could be gained from various sources including past experiences, coaches and family.
Those close to the athlete also play a major part in sporting success, as the fifth shared attribute was found to be perceived social support.
Olympic gold medalists generally believe that high quality social support is available to them, whether that be from family, coaches, colleagues or even their academic institution.
Discussing the findings, Dr Fletcher, who specialises in Sport and Exercise Psychology, explains: "Over the past few years, we have had an increase in the number of elite and professional athletes approaching us for support in handling the pressures inherent to competition at the highest level.
The findings of this study enable us to provide them with a superior psychology support service based on cutting-edge evidence with the world's best athletes."
Sarkar is hopeful that the study will aid Britain's best later on this summer: "It is important that athletes learn to develop and maintain a very specific combination of psychological strategies and attributes to enable them to perform at their best and succeed in Olympic competition."
Dr David Fletcher and Mustafa Sarkar are also both Games Experts - if you would like to talk to or interview a Games Expert visit our website: www.games-experts.com.
Image credit: Loughborough University
By Carly Baldwin
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