Values and the pursuit of sports excellence: Swimmers from Singapore and Australia
Alpin, N. & Saunders, JE. (2009). Values and the pursuit of sports excellence: Swimmers from Singapore and Australia. N. Alpin, J. Saunders. 1-328. Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG.
Success in international sport has represented a grueling challenge for Singapore. Many factors have been identified to explain a perceived lack of achievement. This work examines the relationship between values and sports performance. Utilizing the Schwartz Values Model, the value priorities of young sportspeople were assessed at different stages of commitment and performance. 'Stimulation' and 'Conformity' emerged most emphatically as the level of representation increased. Other results revealed that 'Power' and 'Achievement' were value types significantly associated with performance in swimming. The best predictors were 'Benevolence' (negatively associated)and 'Conformity' (positively associated). An elite group of young swimmers from Australia - an acknowledged powerhouse in the sport - demonstrated a similar emphasis on 'Conformity'. Significantly, their values accounted for a greater contribution to their performance than was reported in Singapore. Prioritization of key values by members of the supporting sub-culture appears to make a small but significant contribution to ultimate sporting success. This research will be of interest to administrators, coaches and parents.
School of Exercise Science