Performance success in the competitive equestrian world
Psychological and physiological aspects can have a huge impact on the success of riders during competitions.
This study aimed to investigate Equestrian Sports Dynamics (motivation, coach-athlete relationship, self-efficacy and training- both physical and mental) of riders and the effect it had on their performance success.
Self-efficacy was defined as one’s beliefs about their own capability to produce designated levels of performance.
236 equestrians were subdivided into novice or advanced groups in 3 disciplines: showjumping, dressage and eventing.
A hybrid questionnaire covering motivation, coach-athlete relationship, self-efficacy and training was filled in and compared with a multiple regression analysis to their competitive performance history.
The results of this study are quite unexpected, as they show that the Equestrian Sports Dynamics have little significance on the outcome of performance success in equestrians.
The only significant result found was that motivation had an effect on performance. However, motivation had different effects on different levels of riding: in intermediate showjumpers, there was a negative significance between motivation and performance, suggesting that increased motivation lead to stagnation of performance success. This may be caused by the fact that they are content to have reached their level and therefore try less.
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Expert opinion by Science-Equine.com
The surprising results of this study may have possibly been found due to riders scoring their motivation (and other factors) incorrectly.
On top of that, the relationship between the horse and rider, which is a substantial factor that plays a part achieving success in competition, was not investigated.
It is advised to still take care of and nurture the different aspects of equestrian sports dynamics, even if the results of this study show no direct significant influence on competitive performance.
> From: Petho, J Hum Sports Exerc 12 (2017) 857-871. All rights reserved to Faculty of Education. University of Alicante. Click here for the online summary.