Self-rating capacity building in female volleyball players

PhD, Associate Professor N.S. Shumova1
PhD, Associate Professor N.S. Babieva2
PhD, Dr.Hab., Professor Y.V. Baykovskiy1
1Russian State University of Physical Education, Sports, Youth and Tourism (SCOLIPE), Moscow
2I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University under Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation (Sechenov University), Moscow

Keywords: objective and subjective progress rating criteria, self-rating, aspirations.

Background. As things now stand, the competitive performance and training progress ratings in the complex-coordination-intensive sport disciplines are driven mostly by subjective measurment systems with their scores and rankings; and this is the reason why athletes may be so sensitive to fairness and integrity of their performance assessments. When the performance scoring system is put on an objective basis, it greatly encourages balanced analyses, notional thinking, unbiased solutions and emotional comfort as an associating element of the training and competitive process [5]. Competitive success in the modern team sports and combat sports is mostly rated quite objectively whilst the technical skill sets and mastery levels are rated by a wide range of criteria.

The modern methodical approach [13] assumes that a certain consistency and degree of agreement of the performance self-ratings and outside ratings helps harmonize the interpersonal communication and cooperation strategies, individual emotional backgrounds, behavioral models, motivations, values and priorities as the key elements of the life and career values. E. Burns provides the following four typical combinations:

1. ‘I am OK and everything is OK’ mindset, with its activity, determination for success, positive attitude to own self and other people, internal locus of control, domination of emotional interest, satisfaction with the own social status and financial standing, and high stress tolerance.

2. ‘I am out of order and all around too’ mindset, with its passiveness in challenging situations, avoidance of difficulties, pessimistic attitudes, excessive care and uncertainty, low ambitions, negativism to the own self, low self- and others’ ratings.

3. ‘I am OK though all around is not’ mindset with its too high self-rating and underestimation of the others, intolerance, proneness to conflicts, emotional rigidity and unwelcoming attitudes to new ideas and plans.

4. ‘I am not ok though all around is OK’ mindset with its passiveness due to underestimation of the own self, low aspirations, external locus of control and poor ability to understand and predict other people’s attitudes and behaviors.

As found by Y.Y. Artemyeva [2, 1], active individuals are the dominant contributors to the joint semantics when they are part of the team trying to semantically scale out abstract images; whilst passive teammates in such tests tend to rather convince one another than find a joint solution for the problem.

Sport-specific subjective/ objective ratings and self-ratings are always topical for studies since fair progress and performance ratings are indispensable for motivations and success in modern sports [4].

Objective of the study was to assess benefits of a new progress self-rating capacity building model in application to junior female volleyball players.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was performed in 2016-2017. Sampled for the study purposes were the 15-16 year-old Class I female volleyball players from ‘Nika’ Sport School of Olympic Reserve #65 in Moscow, with the sample split up into Experimental (EG, n=10) and Reference (RG, n=10) Groups. The study was designed in two stages, with stage 1 run in the period of 01.11.16 to 13.12.16; and stage 2 in the period of 10.01.17 to 11.02.17. In the interim period the sample was trained at Zarya Training Center in the Smolensk Oblast. The EG was trained with application of the new progress self-rating capacity building technology in stage 1; whilst the RG was trained using the standard training method.

Study methods and tools were the following: Dembo-Rubinstein Test adapted by A.M. Prikhozhan, with 6 tables by N.M. Turusova and N.S. Shumova  [6] used to rate the following three key techniques: overhead pass/ set; underarm pass/ receive; and attack; with the sample test data processed using the standard mathematical statistics toolkit.

The progress self-rating capacity building technology was designed to include the following 3 stages [6]:

1. Preparatory stage, when the progress tests and rating criteria were selected for the study. Special attention was given to the criteria to rate the following three key techniques: overhead pass/ set; underarm pass/ receive; and attack, with the rating criteria listed in 6 tables [6]. Each of the techniques was executed in simple and difficult versions.

2. Motivations and priorities setting stage geared to: make the athletes aware of benefits of the self-control, rating and correction skills for the trainings, personality growth and competitive success; with the background self-ratings and aspirations profiled by the Dembo-Rubinstein Test adapted by A.M. Prikhozhan; familiarize them with the training practices and progress rating criteria; demonstrate the fair, unbiased and friendly attitudes to help them develop and reinforce the positive view of own self and positive self-identification; stimulate the players for performance analysis and progress in the training process, with an emphasis on the technical skills improvement and correction aspects. The progress rating tables were applied by the athletes and coaches to rate and forecast progress in specific exercises, analyze the rates and discuss the disagreements and reasons for them if any. Upon completion of every exercise, the athletes self-rated the performance followed by the coach’s ratings in the same table, with the coach’s ratings temporarily non-reported to the athlete till stage 3.

3. Self-rating capacity building and rating stage designed to complement the self-ratings and coach’s ratings by the inter-team progress self-ratings, with every athlete required to rate progress of every teammate and analyze the ratings versus the coach’s ratings; with the stage finalized by scores of the individual self-rating levels and aspirations.

Study findings and discussion. It was found that the higher is the retrospective self-rating by some EG member, the lower is the prospective rating and vice versa  - that may be indicative of the progress towards normal aspirations and objective self-ratings of the own mastery by the applied set of criteria. The RG was tested at the final stage to split up into subgroups with high and low aspirations: see Figure 1 hereunder.

Figure 1. Pre- versus post-experimental aspirations in the EG versus RG

The aspiration rates were tested higher in the athletes having high rating points from the coach and lower in those rated low by the coach: see Table 1 hereunder.

Table 1. Pre- versus post-experimental tests rates of the EG versus RG

Mean test rates

Pre-exp. EG

Post-exp. EG

Temp for the EG

Pre-exp. RG

Post-exp. RG

Temp for the EG

Uemp for the pst-exp EG vs. RG

Aspirations rate








Individual self-rate








Difference of the self-rate and aspirations level








Coach’s rate








Mean prospective self-rate








Mean retrospective self-rate








Mean expert’s rate








Note: Temp means the Wilcoxon Т-criterion, Uemp means the Mann-Whitney U-criterion; Tcr.0.05=10, Tcr.0.01=5, Ucr.0.05=27, Ucr.0.01=19

It was further found that the coach’s role was to confirm the self-perceived gap between the aspirations and self-rates and encourage the athletes to realize their progress limitations and social parasitic attitudes (i.e. the ambitions poorly supported by own efforts and gifts) and even make retirement decisions. The analyses of own capacities and skills versus the progress goals and achievements were found to step up the trainees’ interest in and motivations for the trainings. It was also found that the too high reliance on the outside ratings leads to an underestimation of own contribution to progress and, as a result, to a potential disappointment and uncertainty in the sport career.


  • The progress self-rating capacity building model was found beneficial as verified by the EG test performance rates being significantly higher than in the RG (p=0.01);
  • The post-experimental self-rates in the EG were found significantly higher than in the RG (p≤0.05) to indicate the higher skill levels;
  • 90% of the RG broke up into the subgroups with the high and low levels of aspirations versus the EG aspirations scored by 88-90 points in 50% of the group, with the differences tested significant by p<0.05 and Fisher criterion of φemp=2.073; and
  • The coach’s ratings were found to trigger the RG breakup into the subgroups with the high and low levels of aspirations versus now breakup in the EG as a result of the progress self-rating capacity being successfully formed in the group.


  1. Artemyeva E.Y. Osnovy psikhologii subjektivnoy semantiki [Fundamentals of psychology of subjective semantics].Moscow: Nauka; Smysl publ., 1999, 350 p.
  2. Artemyeva E.Y. Psikhologiya subjektivnoy semantiki [Psychology of subjective semantics]. Moscow: MSU publ., 1980, 128 p.
  3. Babieva N.S., Zhog V.I., Tarabakina L.V. Metodologiya organizatsionnoy psikhologii [Methodology of organizational psychology]. Study guide. Moscow: MPSU; Prometey publ., 2013, 175 p.
  4. Popov A.L., Shumova N.S. Preemstvennost subjektivnosti i objektivnosti otsenok rezultatov v izbrannom vide sporta pri osvoenii psikhologii studentami fizkulturnogo vuza [Continuity of subjectivity and objectivity of result assessment in chosen sport in students’ psychology learning process in sports institution]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2006, no. 6, pp. 12-14.
  5. Shumova N.S., Baykovskiy Y.V. Komponenty psikhicheskoy deyatelnosti sportsmenov i ih rol v obespechenii nadezhnosti deystviy v ekstremalnykh usloviyakh [Components of athletes’ mental activity and their role in reliability of actions under extreme conditions]. Ulyanovsk: Zebra publ., 2018, 99 p.

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Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of the proposed self-rating capacity building model designed to include the following three stages: preparatory stage; motivations and priorities setting stage; and the self-rating capacity building and progress testing stage. Sampled for the study were the 15-16 year-old Class I women volleyball players. Progress of the sample was tested by the Dembo-Rubinstein Test adapted by A.M. Prikhozhan; and analyzed using 6 tables to rate the following three key techniques: overhead pass/ set; underarm pass/ receive; and attack/ spike; with the sample progress data processed using the standard mathematical statistics toolkit. The progress self-rating capacity building model with its set of objective progress self-rating criteria was found beneficial as verified by the sample progress in the sport mastery and personality growth components even when the outside progress ratings were not fair/ accurate enough.