Author(s): Paul Larkin, Donna O’Connor & A. Mark Williams
Publication Year: 2016
Article Title: Does Grit Influence Sport-Specific Engagement
Perceptual-Cognitive Expertise in Elite Youth
Journal Title: Journal of Applied Sport Psychology
Volume Number: 28
Issue Number: 2
Page Numbers: 129-138
APA formatted Reference: Larkin, P., O’Connor, D.,
& Williams, A. M. (2016). Does Grit Influence Sport-Specific Engagement and
Perceptual-Cognitive Expertise in Elite Youth Soccer? Journal of Applied
Sport Psychology, 28(2), 129-138. doi:10.1080/10413200.2015.1085922
To discover if the grit characteristic in a youth soccer player truly impacts
their role with the team.
male elite soccer players took a child adapted Short Grit Scale and a
Participation History Questionnaire. After wards, the subjects completed
analysis showed a small to medium correlation but another showed a large difference
if age was controlled.
The “grittier” the athlete, the more invested they are in this sport.
had multiple tests to measure grit, personality and how each effect
spend a lot of time talking about other studies about perceptual-cognitive
skills in the introduction. This section could have been smaller if they didn’t
completely elaborate on that.
Applicability / Relevance: This would be very helpful for coaches and recruiters
to use this information when recruiting athlete for collegiate or professional
III. Detailed Summary
Paper’s Purpose: The
purpose is being the first study to test grit and personality traits on how it
affects the expertise in the soccer players. They wanted to prove the grittier
the athlete the more dedicated and overall better athlete/teammate they would
be for the team.
used 385 youth elite male soccer players for this study. They used the Short
Grit Scale and the Participation History Questionnaire. The followed up with a
temporal occlusion method for perceptual-cognitive ability of the participants.
This included 20 videos of soccer plays and they had the option to pick the
next step in situation. Then videos of a soccer player performing a move and
they would have to answer with what that soccer player would do in that
situation. They were asked to identify which player would be the more
threatening one to defend.
the age was controlled the grit had a bigger positive effect on the scores of
the Grit-S and PHQ. Over all as a whole they was a small to medium significant
correlation with the grit and soccer specific measurements. The study used
one-way ANCOVA to find the mean, which demonstrated a rather significant effect
on grit with the age control.
Paper’s Conclusions: For this study they reported the first
attempt that demonstrates the possible link between the personality traits and
grit as well as the effects it has on the desire to achieve long-term goals even
with failures or setbacks. This included in sport-specific engagement, indirect
factors and perceptual-cognitive skills. The case study’s findings of the on
going may indicate that grittier youth athletes are more likely to invest
greater amounts of time in soccer-specific activities, and work toward their
sporting goals, compared to less gritty individuals. The grittier the athlete
the more they want to participate and build up the team in more ways than just
IV. Critique of Paper
Paper’s Strength’s: It
is the first study to take about grit and soccer performance. It does a good
job on describing what exactly the study was looking for. The methods used for
this study were a Grit-S and a PHQ which are detailed enough to ask the athlete
not only by things that directly impact soccer, but also some indirect factors.
These were appropriate methods and they also described what each would ask
about and what the scores would show. The results were the same as I expected,
the grittier the athlete, the better the performance/initiative.
Paper’s Weaknesses: I
feel since it is the first of it is specific study; they spent a lot of
explaining the purpose. They could have put more details into the other
sections and not bring up the whole comparing of the other studies that are
similar but already out there. Participants’ factors were more focused on age only
instead of a more overall what type of population/other factors that also play
a role in personality. In the results they give us a chart with a bunch of
numbers but they do not further explain what each means.
Are the author’s interpretations justified? Why
or why not: Yes their
interpretations were justified. They talked about how there are a bunch of
researchers who have yet to realize the effects of personality traits on
performance. They bring up the fact of their results showed there is a direct
connection as well as referring to other articles of studies that show personality
effects on other types of performances.
V. Relevance & Applicability
Your organization: I
am an athletic training student and I have clinical rotations each semester. At
each clinical site we get to work with the Universities athletes. We get to
watch them in practice, watch them in the athletic training facility and how they
interact with their teammates. You get to see their interactions between the
different skill-level, ages and dedication levels with their teammates too.
Working on the athletes you are almost a fly on the wall so to speak, since
they’ll be openly talking about everything to a teammate nearby or even to you.
With this it’s great to utilize the personality traits to then see how the act
inside the facility vs. outside at practice or in other settings.
Relevance of Results to your organization: This study would be great for the head athletic
trainers since they work closely to the coaches and other staff for each team.
They look towards us when it comes to any health problems. More and more the
coaches here are realizing how important mental health is for performance.
There are not many coaches here at this university that are not for promoting
good mental health. Personalities are directly correlated to their whole
interactions around the sport and this study, if brought to light, could be
used to help the coaches better understand their athletes and why/how they
How can results be utilized: The coaches will be able to specifically recruit for
the gritty athletes, since they will be the ones that will be the more
motivated and want to participate in the sport all around. With some of the
teams I have worked with in the past this study could been utilized since a lot
of the team had negative attitudes and were not as dedicated to the team and
did bring down a lot of the other athletes. Using this study could prevent
recruiting people like that as well. It could also be utilized by it fueling
more people to create studies showing the effect of personalities on teamwork.
your idea could be implemented: I
feel my idea of using this study to help us adapt approaching each personality
would be better implemented if there were more studies like this. Having more
evidence would better back your case up when brining up this subject up to the
coaches. For other problems you need a lot of evidence and trust from the
coaches so this would be treated the same.