Attitude vs. Aptitude. Effect of psychological responses on soccer Referees

Cristóbal Muñoz-Arjona */** and Alfonso Castillo-Rodríguez **

(*) National Spanish Soccer Referee, Spain
(**) Department of Physical Education and Sports. University of Granada, Granada, Spain


Muñoz-Arjona, C., Castillo-Rodríguez, A. (2020). Attitude vs. Aptitude. Effect of psychological responses on soccer Referees. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 51(1), 69-80. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2020.51.069


The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of certain psychological variables (self-esteem, anxiety, self-confidence, and motivation) on the physical performance of soccer referees in two environments, training (TE) and competition (CE). To this end, forty-two participants (age M = 27.0; SD = 3.9; years of experience M = 10.9; SD = 5.4) completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2, the Sport Motivation Scale and Rosenberg tests, and also performed different validated physical tests for soccer referees. The results demonstrate that during CE, referees obtained higher levels of physical performance, anxiety, and self-confidence (p <.001) and the more experienced referees show lower levels of anxiety and higher levels of self-esteem. Furthermore, self-esteem and category predict with a 44% and 33%, respectively, of the explained variance, the physical performance carry out in CE. As a general conclusion, soccer referees show higher levels of anxiety during competition, but also better physical performance. In addition, the experience and category influences of the referee the interpretation of the psychological responses carried out in pressure situations in CE.

Keywords: Anxiety, Competition. Motivation, SSelf-esteem