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Medicina dello Sport 2002 December;55(4):299-304


language: Italian

Study of the trainer-athlete relationship during development age

Pizzi A. 1, Fiorineschi M. 2, Tortorelli D. 2, Grifoni G. 2, Giorgi S. 2

1 Centro di Medicina dello Sport FMSI, Viareggio; 2 Unità Funzionale Salurte Mentale Infanzia e Adolescenza, ASL 3, Pistoia


Objective. Research about the perceptions of oneself and of growing athletes in a sample of trainers.
Methods. Administration of a partly-structured questionnaire to 68 trainers aged between 18 and 53.
Results. As regards the perception of oneself, the main motivations leading to trainer’s activity are to be found in the possibility to remain in the world of sport and to have a leading role; the great majority feels responsible for an educating role of boys. As regards the qualities they think the athlets should have, the capacity of keeping fear under control, bearing frustration and enjoying themselves are considered as necessary for a good result, at an interpersonal level, together with the sense of competition and sociability; however, some have underlined the importance of qualities such as aggressiveness and the capacity of disregarding pain. The aim of sport is to be found especially as a supporting function of the developmental process of boys.
Discussion. In the light of the results obtained, we underline the educational value of the function carried out by trainers in the psychological growing itineraries of children and teenagers (education for socialization and for a sound competition). However, we also discuss the risks that may be present in a distorted relationship between trainers and athletes (scanty perception of the limits of one’s and others’ role, extreme stimulation of competition to the detriment of fun; narcissistic relation with boys).
Conclusions. We think useful to study carefully the trainers’ internal representations, whether to collect more accurate information on the various psychological components involved in the various kinds of sport (for example team sports and individual sports) or to find personal education trainings capable of creating a greater awareness and relational sensibility towards growing athlets.

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