Volume 29, Issue 12 (3-2023)                   RJMS 2023, 29(12): 61-70 | Back to browse issues page

Research code: IR.IAU.K.REC.1400.99
Ethics code: IR.IAU.SRB.REC.1401.164
Clinical trials code: IR.IAU.K.REC.1400.99

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Peiravani A H, Molanourozi K, Kashi A, Mousavi Sadati S K. Identifying the Mental Skills in the Elite Players of Soccer National Team in the Iranian Men under 23-Year. RJMS 2023; 29 (12) :61-70
URL: http://rjms.iums.ac.ir/article-1-7554-en.html
Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran , keyvan_ms@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (1103 Views)
Background & Aims: Based on the results of international studies, it has been determined that the performance of elite and skilled athletes is affected by cognitive, perceptual-motor skills and physiological and anatomical adaptations. Recent evidence suggests that regular exercise affects brain plasticity and improves cognitive function (1,2). Cognition is defined as "mental function in achieving knowledge and understanding" (3). Participation in high-level sports exercises (elite athletes) at a young age is associated with the development of physiological, psychological and motor skills in a particular sport (4). soccer is a team sport in which players are faced with complex movements such as running with a rapid change of direction, with or without the ball, and its people have different characteristics, depending on the nature of the sport and the environment in which the game is played. Numerous factors play a role in the size of the pitch, the playing environment, the playing time, the playing systems, and the skills and conflicts involved in the sport (5). A player's performance in a soccer match depends on his cognitive, perceptual and motor skills (6). These characteristics are influenced by technical, tactical, physiological, physical and psychological factors (7). Some studies have reported better cognitive performance of young elite soccer players. Verburgh et al. (2014) conducted a study to examine a wide range of cognitive skills in young elite and non-elite soccer players. The results of this study showed that the elite group performed better than the non-elite group in terms of reaction time in motor inhibition as well as alertness and orientation. However, no difference was observed in executive network and selective attention or working memory capacity between the two groups (13). However, Granacher and Borde (2017) did not report any significant differences in concentration and attention between young elite and non-athlete players (16). As reported; Behavioral characteristics are not known, especially in young elite athletes. While several studies have been performed on the analysis of physiological, biomechanical, and anthropometric indices of elite adult soccer players (17-19), few studies have examined mental characteristics, especially in young elite athletes. Therefore, the present study has been compiled with the aim of the Identifying the mental skills in the elite players of soccer national team in the Iranian men under 23-year.
Methods: The statistical population of this descriptive study consists of elite male soccer players under the age of 23 in Iran. The sampling method was counting and the number of samples was 200 players of Omid Iran men's national team. Field method and Ottawa Mental Skills Assessment Tool (OMSAT-3) Salmala et al. (2001) were used to collect data. Friedman test and confirmatory factor analysis were used to analyze the data using Amos software version 24 and SPSS software version 26.
 Results: Based on the analysis of the results of this study, the variables of concentration recovery, self-confidence, commitment, stress response, mental training, fear control, empowerment, concentration and optimal imagery and targeting variables, competition design and relaxation were evaluated in unfavorable range. Commitment subscale with an average of 5.766 was in the first place and other subscales of confidence (5.563), goal setting (5.531), invigoration (4.962), mental training (4.923) Fear control (4.430), concentration (4.652), relaxation (4.612), illustration (4.578), stress response (4.538), contest design (4.309) and recycling Concentration (4.242) was in the next ranks. Also, the fit coefficients of the model showed that all dimensions of mental skills specific to soccer players were able to explain the variable.
Conclusion: The results of the present study assessed the status of the dimensions of recovery of concentration, self-confidence, commitment, response to stress, mental training, fear control, empowerment, concentration and imagery, and the status of the dimensions of targeting, competition design and relaxation. These findings show that the mental skills of elite soccer athletes are at a high level. The results of our study are consistent with the findings of Vestberg et al. (2016), Verburgh et al. (2017) and Najah & Rejeb (2015) who examined the mental functions of elite athletes (11,14,21). It is still debated whether the excellent mental skills of young elite athletes are due to training (eg, the result of long training hours, high quality training facilities and coaches) or inherent (22,23). Possible modulatory factors, such as improved motor skills (required for many neurocognitive tasks) or motivational aspects, may play a role in the relationship between athletic participation and neuropsychological function (24). Potential mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of exercise on neurological function include increased cerebral blood flow, growth factor release, neurogenesis, and angiogenesis (25). The short-term beneficial effects of exercise on youth have been established in a laboratory setting (26). But it remains largely unknown whether regular exercise is also positively associated with neurocognitive function in young elite athletes. Previous studies have shown that organized exercise at a younger age helps to improve mental function (27-30). The present study also confirmed the high mental performance of elite players, so these results are important for designing specific intervention programs to promote physical activity and subsequently develop mental performance in young people. The results of our study showed that there is a significant difference between the average rank of the dimensions of mental skills for young elite soccer players, so that the dimension of commitment is in the first place and other dimensions with the average value, respectively, confidence, goal setting, empowerment, Mental exercises include fear control, concentration, relaxation, imagery, stress response, competition design, and concentration recovery. In addition, in our study, it was found that all dimensions of mental skills specific to soccer players are capable of explaining this variable. In the meanwhile, the effect of mental training dimension was more than other dimensions and the effect of fear control dimension was less than other dimensions. It seems that playing soccer every day at a high level of performance in a professional soccer club team is associated with the further development of cognitive skills, especially mental training. In general, the identification of mental skills in young soccer elite athletes helps coaches to take steps to strengthen these mental skills. One of the limitations of the present study is the small number of samples. Due to the limited sample size of the study, it is recommended to perform mental studies in athletes of different disciplines with more accuracy, wider studies and with a larger sample size. It is also suggested that a similar study be conducted among elite adolescents and adults and that the results be compared. The results of the present study support the high mental performance of young elite players. Also, among the special mental skills of soccer players, the effectiveness of the mental training dimension is higher than other dimensions.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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