Why was Michael Jordan a Starter?

Topic(s): selection

Topic: Selection
Publication: Athletic Insight – The Online Journal of Sport Psychology (2007)
Article: Predicting athletic success: Factors contributing to the success of NCAA Division I AA collegiate football players
Authors: M. Spieler, D. R. Czech, A. B. Joyner, B. Munkasy, N. Gentner, & J. Long
Reviewed By: Scott Charles Sitrin, M.A.

What are the characteristics that allow an athlete to succeed?  The physical characteristics appear to include strength, speed, agility, and endurance.  The mental characteristics that enable an athlete to excel are less understood.

In addressing this void, the investigators assessed the demographic information, psychological characteristics, and athletic accomplishments of 108 male football players. The demographic variables included age, height, weight, high school academic performance, and high school size; the psychological characteristics were neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and coping ability; and the primary athletic accomplishment was starting status.

It was found that starters and non-starters differed in age, high school size, and ability to cope with adversity.  Starters were older, came from a larger high school, and had a greater ability to cope.

Employers might want to consider this information when deciding which employees to select.  Though age and high school size may not be pertinent to success of employees, the ability to cope with adversity likely is.  This characteristic appears to predict success across domains, from the gridiron to the boardroom.

Spieler, M., Czech, D. R., Joyner, A. B., Munkasy, B., Gentner, N., & Long, J. (2007). Predicting athletic success: Factors contributing to the success of NCAA Division I AA collegiate football players. Athletic Insight – The Online Journal of Sport Psychology, 9(2), 22-33.

human resource management, organizational industrial psychology, organizational management

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