Sporting achievements depend to a great extent on how well the type of sport was chosen in the first place. By influencing the development of particular human qualities, sports have an impact on the formation of character. However, the choice of a particular type of sporting activity is largely determined by the character itself.
In general, the choice of the type of sport depends on the person’s motor skills, mental and other abilities. This relationship is clearly seen not only in sports but also in ordinary productive activities.
Do “sports genes” exist?
Genetic testing helps to identify (with a certain degree of probability) the existence of predispositions to training various types of motor activity. This allows the giving of recommendations for the selection of suitable sports. Modern technology in this field has reached a level where anyone can afford such a procedure.
The methodology of the testing identifies more than 50 markers and takes into account the characteristics of the specific human population. It involves the identification and evaluation of qualities such as:
- muscle mass;
- predisposition to certain diseases;
- vulnerability to growth disorders connected with increased physical exertion.
Experts believe that every young person has the opportunity to achieve sporting results no lower than the 1st adult category, on the conditions of:
- the presence of a healthy body;
- the correct identification of the genetic predisposition to the particular type of sport.
However, keep in mind that such tests do not give an absolute guarantee of the veracity of the result, and they are comparative in nature.
Personality in sporting activities
A person’s ability to achieve results in a particular sport is not only determined by physical characteristics. The selection of the type of sport also depends on the person’s unconscious need for performing this type of activity.
This need is determined by a set of individual characteristics of the person:
- psycho-physiological structure;
- social factors.
Character is understood to be a complex structure of the mental properties of personality (character traits) which are mostly constant over time. They define the behavioral features and interpersonal relationships of a human being in society. By putting their imprint on all actions and responses, character traits lead to a certain lifestyle. If a person is aware of and takes into account the specificity of their chosen type of sports activity, it is possible to achieve a resonance effect in their sporting career. Moreover, there are no ‘bad’ or ‘good’ traits; there are only incorrect interpretations of their application.
If the purpose of sporting activity is to achieve the highest results, it is advisable to choose a sport that will not cause psychological discomfort. For example, a character trait such as a high degree of anxiety is expressed psychologically by a fast release of adrenaline into the bloodstream. This occurs under the influence of certain psychological stimuli.
This character feature can give someone a great advantage in sprint. Accordingly, experienced sprinters are well versed in applying various psychological techniques causing situations of high stress (for instance, a state of fear). However, this quality is clearly not suitable, for example, to those who are practicing martial arts.
If the purpose of sporting activity is maintaining a healthy lifestyle and harmonious personality development, then one can choose using the ‘rule of contraries’. In this case, one must focus on the development of the character traits that are not expressed clearly enough in a person.
The relationship between sports and temperament
Psychologists distinguish two basic psychological personality types:
extroverts – people who are distinguished by sociability, a desire to communicate and obtaining pleasure from it;
introverts – individuals with a need for privacy or increased sensitivity to the opinions of others, who limit their contacts to the minimum acceptable level for them.
For achieving sporting results, martial arts or team sports (water polo, football, volleyball, basketball, and handball) are suitable for extroverts. They involve a high level of cooperation within a team and the ability to find common ground in shared interests.
For introverts it is important to make a choice through which they can have relative autonomy (even if they are part of the national team) and be responsible for their own results. Such types of sports include swimming, athletics, weightlifting, and figure skating.
In turn, if we use the “rule of contraries”, particular mental types should choose sports that are opposites of their inner structure. Then, the formation of undeveloped personality qualities will be motivated by the sporting lessons.