PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF WOMEN ATHLETE

Lesson 6 women and sports

Over the past several decades , the role of women has changed drastically .However , gender beliefs and stereotypes still do exist across the world especially in sports . Most of the people in our society consider that sports are not meant for females but only for males .Social tradition , customs and cultures have great influence upon the psychology of women . In a male dominating society , males are expected to be aggressive , independent , dominating , robust and confident , whereas females are expected as well as considered to be emotional , sensitive , cooperative , sympathetic , loyal , etc. It is a well – known fact that participation of women in sports is increasing year after year .With this enhancement in female participation in sports , there is also renewed interest in the psychological characteristics of the female athletes and the effects of athletics on women . The various psychological traits of women athletes are stated below .

  1. Gender Role Orientation : It is an established fact that there has been an increase in the level of women’s participation in the types of sports that have been traditionally limited to only males , e.g., wrestling , weightlifting , kick boxing , body building , etc . However , many sports have been still considered inappropriate for women . For a long time it was considered that women should not take part in athletics because of the potentially harmful masculinising effects of sports .
  2. Competitiveness : It is evident that in the field of sports , both men and women are competitive in their own fields . In fact , women are more goal oriented and perform magnificently in artistic activities such as gymnastics . However , a number of research studies indicate that females who take part in sports are more competitive in comparison to the females who do not participate in sports .
  3. Confidence : As mentioned earlier , due to social pressures , women tend to have less confidence than men . Participation in sports , competitive environment , awards and recognitions increase confidence levels of sportspersons . However , a significant difference may exist between sportswomen and non- sportswomen .
  4. Self-esteem : Most of the research studies indicate that training plays a vital role in performance . Self -esteem improves with good performance . In the field of sports , intensive training helps in enhancing self-esteem . Research studies also show that those people who engage in sports have high self-esteem in comparison to non-participants .
  5. Aggression : Aggression is a forceful , goal- directed action that maybe verbal or physical . Participation in sports has many positive aspects which usually involve aggressive behavior . Various studies of aggression show that athletes who participate in contact sports , i.e., football players , judos or wrestlers are more aggressive than the athletes who participate in less contact sports . However , females who participate in contact sports show more aggression in comparison to females who do not participate in sports at all.