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Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department of Psychology
This study is a holistic assessment of psychological mindsets, which are one’s attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions, in elite youth male soccer players between the ages of 13 and 18 and the exploration of the relationships between these mindsets and performance outcomes. The mindsets that were assessed were expectancy, growth mindset, value, goals, belongingness, grit, and self-regulation, and the performance outcomes were minutes played, goals scored, and goals allowed. The mindsets were selected through a review of research in education and sport. I conducted Exploratory Factor Analyses (EFA) and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient analyses to assess the validity and reliability of the scales used, and then conducted descriptive and correlational analyses to describe the players’ ratings of the mindsets and the relationships between mindsets and performance outcomes. I also conducted Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) to explore the differences in mindsets between demographic groups (age, professional versus non-professional club, position, ethnicity, and scouting level). Eleven out of the 16 scales had a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient that was greater than or equal to .70. Fifteen out of the 16 mindsets that were assessed had a statistically significant relationship with at least one of the performance outcomes. Fifty-one of the 80 ANOVAs overall that I ran were significant. Finally, I conducted multiple regression analyses and found that mindsets combined to predict up to nine percent of the variance in performance outcomes. This work is significant because of its holistic and applied approach, and the tools developed in this study can be used to study mindsets and performance in many contexts beyond soccer.
Best, Matthew, "The psychology of performance in elite youth soccer players" (2018). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 651.