I do not agree with the statement that college athletes have a different personality than non-athlete college students. Based on the personality developed by the athletes during their sports activities, especially if they are exceptional at what they do, I believe they do not develop a whole different realm of personalities as compared to the non-athletes. The most exceptional athletes develop strong, enthusiastic personality and they learn to adopt and respond to challenges and hardships in their sports. Similarly, the non-athlete students, if good at what they do, say music or academics, tend to develop typically same strong personalities. A similar scenario would be observed if a weaker (not so triumphant in sports or other curricular or extracurricular activities were considered) I would say that the personalities of each party is more dependent on situations but ultimately, it all boils down to similar traits and personalities.
Furthermore, the athletes and non-athletes have their personalities defined by different scenarios, a comparison of their personality would not have a common basis that is the situations that define their personality. Take for example an athlete who is good at sports activities and at the same time good in non-athlete situations. He/she would certainly be very confident and would most probably show a lot of vigor in all he/she does. However, an athlete who is very prominent in his/her sports sector but is very weak in other non-athlete activities, say academics, may have a different vigor and confidence rate in the field as he/she does in class. Apparently, he/she would love it in the pitch but may be deprived in class. In other words, the two subjects in this analogy both have a strong personality in the field as athletes but have different personalities in class. The former may be more extrovert and expressive in the field, but the later may be more withheld and introvert in class but very outgoing in the pitch. The former would have a high ego strength, but the later may have a low ego strength especially when it comes to class activities. They may both share the glory in the pitch but in other activities the later will always feel intimidated and more dependent on others.
The difference between personalities can only be depicted if the comparison is done on common grounds (POMs p. 30). For instance, generalizing regarding success at what one does, both the successful athletes and the successful non-athletes will tend to have a positive mental health especially in their fields of success. On the other hand, those with an unsuccessful athlete or non-athlete backgrounds will most probably depict an adverse mental health. The negative mental health will even be worse for the one who has difficulties in both athletic and non-athletic activities (POMs p. 40). The iceberg profile of personality presents the athlete's scenario even better. What is important to note is that the profile only compares the athletes. Furthermore, the majority of carried out studies have been carried in a bid to compare the personalities of athletes and non-athletes, but there has not been developed any personality profile which is consistent for this comparison (POMS, 2016).
To sum it all up, the personality of the athletes and the non-athletes are not different. Whether an interaction or a situation approach is applied to determine the personality differences, the two parties are incomparable. However, the ultimate fact remains that the successful athletes and non-athletes, in their specialties, have will most probably depict stronger personalities than their unsuccessful counterparts in each their individual fields.
POMs, 2016. Lecture notes
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