Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Jenny Browne

Second Advisor

Amanda Blackmore


The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between selected psychological characteristics and performance of a group of talented young Australian Rules football players. The study group consisted of 50 of the best identified schoolboy 15 year old Australian Rules football players in Western Australia. From this group 25 boys were selected to represent Western Australia at the Australian School Sports Council National Football Championships. The selected psychological characteristics were competitive anxiety (trait and state), competitive sport orientation (competitiveness, win and goal orientation) and sport confidence (trait and state). Performance was measured, first, by the selection or non selection of the player in the final team and second, by a high or low performance rating at the completion of the championships. Psychological characteristics of those players who were selected in the team were compared with those who did not make the team in an attempt to identify those characteristics that related to successful team selection. A further comparison of psychological characteristics and performance levels at the completion of the championships was made to determine any common characteristics that identify the higher performing players and possibly to identify predictors of successful performance which could assist with the selection process of other similar groups. The results did not indicate any significant relationships between the selected psychological characteristics of competitive sport orientation, competitive sport anxiety and sport confidence. Nor did the results indicate any relationship between the selected characteristics and the performance of the study group. The results did show however, significant differences between the perceptions of performance as rated by the players themselves and the ratings by the coach, manager, teammates and other independent observer. In every performance rating measure, factor loadings clearly showed that player self-assessments of performance was highly inconsistent with the assessments of the other assessors. This potential area of research may be of significant value in that the player's perception of his performance is not consistent and at variance with the views of the coach and of his teammates.