A Comparative Study on Emotional Intelligence and Mental Toughness for Visually Impaired Male and Female Athletes

Robabeh Rostami, Nahid Mohammadi

Abstract


Background: Nowadays researches find that athlete’s performance is affected not only by physical fitness, technical and tactical factors, but also mental and emotional features can affect sport performance. Objective: Hence, the aim of this study is examined the dimensions of emotional intelligence and mental toughness visually impaired male and female athletes. Methodology: This was a causal-comparative study, where the statistical population included 300 visually impaired male and female athletes taking part in the First National Cultural- Sports Festival featuring goalball, tug-of-war, track and field, swimming, and powerlifting. Using a smaple of convenience, 70 participants completed the Sheard, Golby, and van Wersch-questionnaire on mental toughness in three dimensions of  “confidence” “ control” and “constancy”, and the Petrides and Furnham’s questionnaire in four dimensions of “ understanding emotions”, “ social skills” “ controlling emotions” and “ optimism”. Results: Analysis of variables using an independent t-test showed significant differences in the dimensions of controlling emotions, understanding emotions, and social skills in favor of visually impaired sportswomen. However, there were no significant differences between the genders for optimism in the emotional intelligence questionnaire, and in mental toughness questionnaire. Conclusions: Visually impaired individuals pass through stages of emotional intelligence in a different way compared to those with normal vision. Moreover, motor skills and sports for the visually impaired are of a different kind. Moreover, our results showed that women benefited more from participating in physical and sporting activities than men did. Therefore, we recommend that authorities and people involved in sports for the visually impaired should make more use of exercises in psychological skills, along with technical and tactical ones, for visually impaired male athletes.

Keywords: Mental toughness, emotional intelligence, visually impaired athletes


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