Mental Skills of an Athlete as a Resource of Professional Longevity in Sport



The aim of the study was to assess associations between dimensions of mental skills, psychological readiness and predictors of career longevity among current athletes. Mental skills dimensions were measured with the Ottawa Mental Skills Assessment Tool (OMSAT). The psychological predictors of athletic career longevity were measured with the Athletic Coping Skills Scale-28 (the ACSI-28) producing scores for seven coping skills and with the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) which produced scores for confidence in competition. Overall, 253 current athletes (average age 22 years) of various competitive levels (classified to 5 groups according to the national sport classification system) participated in the study. The results showed that coping skills and confidence in competition positively associated with various range of mental skills dimensions. The competitive level was related to stress reactions, fear control, focusing, refocusing and imagery coping skills. The results suggest that some mental skills may came with experience, while the development of other mental skills may require interventions to reduce the likelihood of early termination of the professional career and achieve career longevity. The results also discussed in terms of a holistic perception of sports psychology and focuses not only on performance, but also on the well-being and sustainable development of the athletes.

General Information

Keywords: diagnostics, intervention, coping skills, mental toughness, mental skills, sport psychology, sport, peak performance sport, stress, stress resilience, anxiety, training

Journal rubric: Sports Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by grant of The Russian Federation President, project number МК-2938.2019.6.

Received: 21.12.2020


For citation: Bochaver K.A., Dovzhik L.M., Bondarev D.V., Savinkina A.O. Mental Skills of an Athlete as a Resource of Professional Longevity in Sport. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2021. Vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 58–75. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2021140403. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Konstantin A. Bochaver, PhD in Psychology, assistant professor at the psychology chair, head of sport psychology laboratory, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Lidiya M. Dovzhik, PhD in Psychology, Fellow Research, Sport Psychology Laboratory, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Dmitriy V. Bondarev, PhD, researcher, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexandra O. Savinkina, researcher, Institute of Biomedical Problems of RAS, PhD student, Russian state university for physical education, sport, youth and tourism (SCOLIPE), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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