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Impact of COVID-19 on Athletic Development


Task: Using the framework of athletic development you learned, critically analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on athletic development. Please apply the concepts in the framework and illustrate examples in your answer.


1. Explain the framework and psychological characteristics of athletic development.
Just as the coronavirus has disrupted human daily life, it has also damaged human occupation, hobbies and passions. Athletes are not immune to the effects of the coronavirus(Buckley et al., 2021). Fear of its spread and infection has forced governments in many countries to take drastic measures. Notable among these measures are maintaining distance, using masks, sanitisers, avoiding crowds, and complete lockdown in very severe cases. Several sporting events were cancelled due to overcrowding and complete lockdown. Some of the significant events are the Tokyo Olympics, CAF Nations Cup, UEFA Euro Cup etc. which are cancelled due to the risk of coronavirus infection. Several football leagues as well as various competitions were also affected by the tightening of security(Uroh & Adewunmi, 2021).

The National Sports Festival in Nigeria has been postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic situation. As a result, this pandemic situation naturally leads to economic decline in event organizers and host cities. Needless to say, the negative effects of this situation left the athletes emotionally devastated. Especially those who were going to participate in these events had a great psychological impact. One study examined the health of athletes and non-athletes during this pandemic situation, as a result, it was found that athletes were more prone to depression and anxiety than non-athletes(Hemati Alamdarloo et al., 2019).

2. Critically analyse the research methods that can be used to effectively investigate athletic development.
Some significant methods are:

Survey: The importance of surveys for the successful completion of effective research for athletic development is immense. Mainly organizational behaviours as well as sports marketing sub-disciplines of management count on research surveys in reaching a wider target population including fans and sport firm employees, gradually. Surveys play a significant role in gathering data from a large population.
Experimental approach: This survey method is used in sports for a general intervention. An effective solution to challenges such as casual hypotheses is made possible by examining an experimental approach. For example, raises the question of whether video presentation using 3d technology improves decision-making in sports. Some players have admitted that it is convenient for them and some players have criticized the evidence of low external validity.
Psychometric approach: In addition to sports, researchers in exercise psychology choose classical experimental theories primarily to manage the dynamics of their psychometric work. Whatever the theoretical direction, psychometric methods are mainly used to develop valid measurement tools(Gnacinski et al., 2021).
Several methods are used as sports development research methods, such as meta-analysis, idiosyncratic approach, qualitative approach etc.

3. Evaluate the coach-athlete interactions and identify how to maintain the coach-athlete relationship
Coaching is usually an important context for athletes through which coaches help their subordinate athletes to develop their sports ability and physical and mental well-being(Felton et al., 2021). The results of coaching will be better reflected in the performance of an athlete when the quality of mutual understanding and relationship between the coach and the athlete is improved and maintained. The interaction between the coach and the athlete should be such that the athlete understands his skills, and proves himself to be the best through practice in a proper way. The coach's knowledge and guidance, along with the practice and preparation of the athlete motivate a successful outcome.
Several rules must be followed to maintain a good coach-athlete relationship -

  • The interpersonal feeling of the coach and the athlete helps to maintain a good bond, trust, respect, confidence, appreciation towards each other.
  • Commitment to each other in both good and bad situations reflects interpersonal thinking.
  • The coach's guidance and the athlete's cooperation identify each other's interpersonal behaviours, through which a good relationship is maintained.
  • The thinking, the view, of both the coach and the athlete towards sports and hard-work maintains the interdependence which is very important for both.

These four key elements help maintain the quality of the coach-athlete relationship.

4. Analyze the psychosocial influences of family members on motivating athletes’ performance.
Athletes are greatly influenced by their parents' attitude, support, service, and help. Research has shown that family support encourages an athlete in the field of sports and vice versa, without the support of the family, the sportsperson suffers from severe depression. Social stance and hard work in sports can be considered as a model process if family members act as role models, it inspires the athlete and motivates him to perform better. The motivation of sports among young people leads to their development and growth, which accelerates their psychological process and thinking.

Most athletes think that their family will motivate and support them, that their success will be a source of pride for their parents and that they too will be overwhelmed. In particular, family support in a competition and family presence and support during practice greatly encourage an athlete. There are coaches for technical guidance and help, but also basic help and above all family, support is very important for inspiration. Appreciation for good performance, motivating after a bad performance, relieving the stress of competition, being by the side in bad times etc. should become from family support. Above all, the activities of a coach as well as family members motivate an athlete to bring success in life.

Buckley, G., Hall, L., Lassemillante, A., & Belski, R. (2021). Disordered eating & body image of current and former athletes in a pandemic; a convergent mixed methods study - What can we learn from COVID-19 to support athletes through transitions?. Journal Of Eating Disorders, 9(1), 1-16.

Felton, L., Jowett, S., Begg, C., & Zhong, X. (2021). A multistudy examination of the complementarity dimension of the coach-athlete relationship. Sport, Exercise, And Performance Psychology, 10(1), 27-42.

Gnacinski, S., Meyer, B., & Wahl, C. (2021). Psychometric Properties of the RESTQ-Sport-36 in a Collegiate Student-Athlete Population. Frontiers In Psychology, 12.

Heaney, C., Kentzer, N., & Oakley, B. (Eds.). (2021). Athletic Development: A Psychological Perspective. Routledge. 20of%20athlete%20family&lr&pg=PT9#v=onepage&q=psychological%20influences% 20of%20athlete%20family&f=false Hemati Alamdarloo, G., Chahardah Cheric, M., Doostzadeh, M., & Nazari, Z. (2019). The comparison of general health in athlete and non-athlete women. Health Psychology Research, 7(1).

Uroh, C., & Adewunmi, C. (2021). Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Athletes. Frontiers In Sports And Active Living, 3.


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