2017, Volume 13, Issue 1
Personality and the nutritional habits of athletes using the example of the Polish national youth female wrestling team
Paweł Piepiora1, Magdalena Superson1, Kazimierz Witkowski1
1Sport sciences, University of Physical Education in Wrocław, Poland
Author for correspondence: Paweł Piepiora; Sport sciences, University of Physical Education in Wrocław, Poland; email: pawel.piepiora[at]awf.wroc.pl
Background & Study Aim: A diet has a direct impact on a person’s body weight and is, therefore, very significant in combat sports, due to the existing division into weight categories. The purpose of this study was the relationship between specific personality traits and nutritional habits using the example of the Polish national youth female wrestling team.
Material & methods: The study consisted of a personality evaluation using the NEO-FFI questionnaire and a subjective evaluation of nutritional habits using a survey questionnaire (SAQ) developed by the authors of this article. Fifteen athletes from the Polish national youth female wrestling team participated in the study, while the comparative groups comprised 15 female volleyball players and 15 female tennis players. All the athletes were of a similar age (17 ±2 years) and represented a similar level of sports skills. Within each of the disciplines, after an analysis of the nutritional habits questionnaire, the athletes were divided into two groups: those paying attention to the quality of their nutrition (following a diet) and those who did not attach importance to their nutrition (following no diet).
Results: A lack of relationship between personality and nutritional habits in both the national youth wrestling team and the control groups. Correlations of the results obtained in NEO-FFI tests with SAQ are irrelevant. Neuroticism: wrestlers (20% high level, 73% a medium level, 7% a low level); volleyball players (respectively: 27-, 40-, 33%); tennis players (low in 100%). Extraversion: wrestlers (40% high level, 53% a medium level, 7% a low level); volleyball players (identically to wrestlers); tennis players (100% medium level). Openness to experience: wrestlers (67% a medium level; 33% a low level); volleyball players (7% a high level, 47% a medium level, 47% a low level); tennis players (100% medium level).
Conclusions. Research in this field may be very helpful, especially for combat sports athletes. The ability to maintain the optimum body weight, without the necessity of its drastic adjustments, during the pre-start period may have a significant impact on a person’s results.
Key words: extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, NEO-FFI questionnaire, neuroticism, openness to experience, SAQ questionnaire, sport psychology