Nicola J. Hodges, Lina Augaitis and Peter R. E. Crocker
School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Canada
J. Hodges, N., Augaitis, L., R. E. Crocker, P. (2015). Sport commitment and deliberate practice among male and female triathletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 46(6), 652-665. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2015.46.652
Performance times in triathlons and long distance swim events can be reliably predicted from hours in sport-specific deliberate practice activities (Hodges et al., 2004). In the current study we examined whether commitment to the sport could be a possible mediator of practice and subsequently performance. Recreational triathletes of varying skill levels, sex and age (N = 90) were surveyed about their current practice habits as well as ratings for current levels of commitment based on Scanlan et al. (1993)’s sport commitment model. Current practice behaviours as ascertained from practice history questionnaires and yearly periodization schedules, pertaining to both hours and intensity of practice, were positively related to sport commitment in this sample. Past practice amounts (i.e., accumulated practice and years of involvement) were not significantly related to sport commitment, although they did significantly relate to performance times, supporting previous research. Commitment and current performance times were not related. These data lead us to conclude that sport commitment is a good predictor of current behaviours, but that it appears to only be a transient measure, showing little to no relationship to past practice habits and current levels of performance. In future research it will be important to track practice and sport commitment over a longer time period to both ascertain the direction of this relationship (i.e., antecedent or consequence of sport commitment) and whether commitment to the sport has any predictive validity with respect to future practice amounts (and ultimately performance).
Keywords: Development, Expertise, Motivation Skill acqusition, Talent identification