Coach’s psychodiagnostic testing competency in training and competitive processes

Фотографии: 

PhD L.G. Maydokina1
PhD, Associate Professor E.E. Elaeva1
PhD, Associate Professor G.V. Pozharova1
1Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute named after M.E. Evsevyev, Saransk

 

Keywords: competency, componential competency, future coach, mental fitness tests, training, competitive process.

Background. Growing and fierce competition in the global arenas require from modern professional coaches to be highly competent in every aspect to give due priority to not only the technical skills and physicality of the athletic training process but also the psychodiagnostic tests in the training and competitive periods, as provided by a few studies with concern to the relevant issues [1-5]. Lately the national coaching and athletic communities have demonstrated growing interest in the sport-specific mental fitness control and management matters – knowing that an individual sporting mentality plays an indispensable role in modern competitive environments and is pivotal for success.

 Therefore, a growing priority is given to coach’s psychodiagnostic testing skills in training and competitive processes since it is commonly known that accurate mental fitness and progress test data make it possible to efficiently design the individual athletic training trajectory and, what is no less important, forecast the competitive mental balance and performance. The future coach’s psychodiagnostic testing competency in the training and competitive processes implies a good knowledge of the psychodiagnostic test techniques; informed interest in the individual and specific progress aspects of the trained athletes and teams; and an ability to efficiently apply and manage a variety of sport-important qualities building tools in practice.

For the purposes of the study, we specified the following components of the coach’s psychodiagnostic testing competency: cognitive, motivational and practical ones. Cognitive component may be described as the systemic knowledge of the psychodiagnostic methods in application to individual athletes and teams; knowledge of the relevant requirements to the psychodiagnostic methods, classifications of the modern psychodiagnostic tests etc. It is important for a future coach to be highly competent in psychodiagnostic test specifics; know their application areas and limitations; and effectively apply the test data to improve the training process and competitive performance. Motivational component implies the coach’s determination to apply due psychodiagnostic methods to improve the training process and competitive performance; attain stable competitive goals; and prevent an outflow of gifted athletes from sports. And practical component implies good mastery of a future coach in the individual sport-important qualities rating tests to secure progress of the trainees and effectively apply a variety of the modern psychodiagnostic methods for their competitive progress.

Objective of the study was to test future coaches’ psychodiagnostic testing skills in the training and competitive processes; and offer and test the competency building model applicable in the academic education process.

Methods and structure of the study. The study to rate the future coaches’ psychodiagnostic testing skills in the training and competitive processes was performed at the Regional Centre for Physical Education and Health Lifestyle Research and Practice under Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute. Subject to the study were the third- and fourth-year students (n=55) majoring in Athletic Training in Vocational Sport field of the academic Physical Education discipline.

The subjects’ cognitive component was rated by the questionnaire survey “Basics of Psychodiagnostics in Sports” of our own design that offers a set of questions to test the respondents’ knowledge of the modern psychodiagnostic tests and their application specifics in sports. The subjects’ motivational component was rated by Professional Activity Motivation test designed by K. Zamfir in modification of A. Rean. And the practical component of the future coaches’ psychodiagnostic testing competency was rated by practical tests of the subjects’ skills to apply the modern psychodiagnostic tests. The standard Mann-Witney U-criterion was applied to assess statistical significance of the study data.

Study results and discussion. At the fact-finding stage we rated the primary level of the future coach’s componential competency for psychodiagnostic testing in the training and competitive processes. The rating test data showed a high share of low componential competency for psychodiagnostic testing i.e. poor knowledge of and limitations in the modern sport-specific psychodiagnostic tests albeit still high determination of the subjects to acquire the relevant competences. Based on the primary test data, Experimental and Reference Group of 16 subjects each were formed.

At the competency-building stage we applied the special education curriculum Psychodiagnostics in Sports of our own design to build competences of the future coaches in the Experimental Group, the competences including the following knowledge components: basics of modern psychodiagnostic tests in sports; psychodiagnostic test application specifics in professional coaching process; requirements to modern psychodiagnostic tests; and modern psychodiagnostic tests in application to individual athletes and teams. Furthermore, the competences included the following practical skills: age-specific selection of modern psychodiagnostic tests; psychodiagnostic testing process design and management; psychodiagnostic test data application for psychological profiling of the trainees; mental conditioning and education process improvement recommendations etc.

The new education curriculum includes interdependent theoretical and practical education components, with the theoretical component designed to build good knowledgebase for effective age- and athletic-experience-specific mental fitness test process design and management; and the practical component focused on specific skills and abilities development goals for trainees to be able to select the most efficient psychodiagnostic methods as required by the practical training purposes; manage the psychodiagnostic test procedures in application to individual athletes and teams; analyse the test data and make conclusions; and effectively apply the psychodiagnostic test data and analyses to design and manage the training process and forecast the competitive performance.

The new curriculum includes the following modules: psychodiagnostics application specifics in sports; athletes’ mental process tests; athletes’ personality qualities tests; individual mentality tests in sports; and interpersonal relationship tests in sport teams.

Upon implementation of the special education curriculum Psychodiagnostics in Sports, we came to the progress rating stage of the study. The subjects’ progress tests showed their progress in the componential psychodiagnostic testing competences, with both the Study and Reference Groups tested with some progress albeit with notable intergroup differences in the progress data.

Qualitative progress was found in the cognitive component of the future coach’s psychodiagnostic testing competency in the training and competitive processes, with the componential competency being rated by a test survey including 20 questions. The survey data analysis showed a high progress of the Study Group in this component tests versus most of the Reference Group that faced serious problems with passing the test.

Furthermore, the survey data showed progress in the motivational component of the future coach’s psychodiagnostic testing competency in the training and competitive processes. Most of the Experimental Group subjects were tested with high internal motivations for their professional careers versus most of the Reference Group tested with only external motivations for their professional careers.

The study data and analyses showed progress in the practical component of the future coach’s psychodiagnostic testing competency in the training and competitive processes. This component was rated by the subjects progress in a few practical tasks at sport schools designed to: 1) Make an individual psychodiagnostic test program with indication of the relevant applicable testing techniques; 2) Run individual psychodiagnostic tests in practical training and competitive processes; 3) Complete individual psycho- physiological testing studies using a special NS Psycho-test computerised system; 4) Make an individual psychological profile; and 5) Work out recommendations on how the individual training and competitive processes should be improved and managed for success.

The Experimental Group showed good performance in the practical test tasks and defended their reports; versus the Reference Group that faced serious problems with passing the tests. Statistical processing of the rating test on the future coach’s componential competency for psychodiagnostic testing in the training and competitive processes showed virtually no progress in the Reference Group versus the statistically significant progress in the Study group, as verified by the group pre- and post-experimental test rates.

Conclusion. The study data and analysis showed benefits of the special education curriculum Psychodiagnostics in Sports as demonstrated by the future coaches competency tested to grow in the following aspects: basics of modern psychodiagnostic tests in sports; practical ability to apply the modern psychodiagnostic testing procedures; make individual psychological profiles; and develop the relevant mental conditioning and education and training process improvement recommendations.

References

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Corresponding author: t_i_shukshina@mordgpi.ru

 Abstract
The study was designed to include three stages. At the first fact-finding stage we rated the primary level of the future coach’s competency classified into the relevant components. At the competency-building stage we applied a special education curriculum Psychodiagnostics in Sports of our own design to build the future coaches’ (in Experimental Group) psychodiagnostic testing skills in the training and competitive processes. And at the progress rating stage we rated progress of the subjects in building the relevant competences in every analysed component. The progress tests showed good progress of the subjects to the special education curriculum Psychodiagnostics in Sports in the componential competency building domain.