Intervention to improve Young Footballers’ Orientations to Sportsmanship

Javier Lamoneda Prieto

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Abstract

Introduction. Youth football requires an ethical treatment that includes aspects not only to prevent violence but also to promote pro-sports behaviours. To achieve this, properly designed programmes and evaluation instruments adapted to each context are needed.
Objectives. The two main objectives of this thesis were: 1. To design an intervention model to promote fair play/sportsmanship targeted at junior footballers and to verify their effectiveness, and 2. To contextualise the existing evaluation instruments in order to analyse the orientations towards sportsmanship in junior football.
Sample. One hundred and eighty federated footballers between the ages of 10 and 12 (n = 184) participated.
Procedure. For two consecutive seasons (2011-2012 and 2012-2013), a ten-week education in values programme was designed and carried out.
To evaluate the efficacy of the programme, we used the Multidimensional Scale of Orientations towards Sportsmanship (Escala Multidimensional de Orientaciones hacia la Deportividad, MSOS). We adapted the instrument to the sample given the particular reality of junior football. To do so, each item in the Spanish version was replaced by a practical situation in a match, the number of items was lowered, and the fifth subscale was rewritten in positive statements.
Statistical analysis. To analyse the efficacy of the intervention programme, a descriptive analysis was performed (mean, standard deviation) of the intragroup significance (Wilcoxon test) and the intergroup significance (Fisher’s exact test). Furthermore, the psychometric properties of the evaluation instrument were assessed through a reliability study via analysis of internal consistency; a factorial study was conducted and the sensitivity of the instrument was analysed.
Results. Compared to those who did not receive educational treatment, the participants in the programme significantly improved (p < .05) the following: their attitude towards failure, their courtesy towards their opponent, their attention to and interest in injured players, and respect for the referee when he makes a mistake. The programme was ineffective in improving the athletes’ honesty. In the control group, we found a decrease in the perception of fair play. With regard to the version of the MSOS adapted to junior football, it has 21 items subdivided into two subdimensions (personal and social factors); it showed sound reliability (α > 0.6) and acceptable construct validity (KMO = .657; χ2 = 688.5; g.l. 210; < .000).
Conclusions. The results lead us to posit that including educational programmes in sports planning is beneficial as a factor to prevent the tendency towards the loss of values in football.

Keywords: Evaluation, Intervention Programme, Psychometric Properties, Sportsmanship, Youth Football.

ISSN: 2014-0983

Published: April 01, 2017

Date read: February 27, 2015