Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2013) 12, 724 - 729

Research article
Perceptions of Five-Year Competitive Categories: Model of How Relative Age Influences Competitiveness in Masters Sport
Nikola Medic1, , Bradley W. Young2, J. Robert Grove3
Author Information
1 School of Exercise and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia
2 School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
3 School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia

Nikola Medic
✉ School of Exercise and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA, Australia
Email: n.medic@ecu.edu.au
Publish Date
Received: 17-07-2012
Accepted: 17-10-2013
Published (online): 01-12-2013
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to examine the contrasting perceptions of masters swimmers related to the first and fifth constituent years of a 5-year age category. Swimmers aged between 35 and 93 years (154 male, 184 female) were surveyed at the 2008 FINA World Masters Championships. Exploratory factor analysis indicated the existence of the following five factors considered important for preparation, attendance, and success at masters competitions: awareness of advantages, expectancy, motivation, training, and physiological capacity. One sample t-tests showed that masters swimmers are conscious of advantages that 5-year age categories afford to relatively-younger cohorts (i.e., those who are in the first year of any age category). They also perceive that, in the first compared to the fifth year of an age category, they have greater physiological capacity, engage in more training, have higher expectations to perform well, and are more motivated (all ps < .001). Findings point to perceived psycho-social and physical factors that potentially explain why relatively younger masters athletes are more likely to perform better and to participate in masters competitions than relatively older masters athletes.

Key words: Sport participation, motivation, aging, competition


           Key Points
  • There are at least five psycho-social and physical factors (i.e., awareness of advantages, expectancy, motivation, training, and physiological capacity) that may explain why relatively younger masters athletes are more likely to perform better and to participate more in masters competitions than relatively older masters athletes.
  • Masters athletes are conscious of the advantage that 5-year age categories afford to relatively younger cohorts of athletes.
  • Differential perceptions associated with the 5-year age categories might compromise masters athletes’ continuity of sport competitiveness and underlying training.
 
 
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