Personality profile of individual sports champions

Brain Behav. 2021 Jun;11(6):e02145. doi: 10.1002/brb3.2145. Epub 2021 May 5.


Background: Research on personality in sport is popular because it allows you to forecast the greediness of actions in sports competition situations. The purpose of this paper is to determine which personality traits characterize individual sports champions.

Materials and methods: The subjects of the research were Polish athletes (N = 600) between 20 and 29 years of age from 20 individual sports disciplines (each n = 30). Then, a sample of champions (n = 56) and other individual disciplines athletes (n = 544) was selected from the study population. The Big Five model was used to examine their personality (NEO-FFI).

Results: Individual sports champions were characterized by a lower level of neuroticism, a higher level of extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness in relation to other athletes.

Conclusion: Each sports discipline is characterized by slightly different psychological requirements for athletes. The undertaken sports activity shapes the personality, and the shaped personality traits have an impact on taking solutions in the starting situation. The level of intensity of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness may determine the result in competition in individual sports.

Keywords: NEO-five-factor inventory; behavioral psychology; championship; personality; psychology; sport psychology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neuroticism
  • Personality Disorders
  • Personality Inventory
  • Personality*
  • Sports*