Hi ref, are you in control? Self-control, ego-depletion, and performance in soccer referees

Samuel, Roy D., Englert, Chris, Zhang, Qian and Basevitch, Itay (2018) Hi ref, are you in control? Self-control, ego-depletion, and performance in soccer referees. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 38. pp. 167-175. ISSN 1878-5476

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.06.009


Objectives: Soccer referees are challenged by physiological, professional, and mental demands which require them to exercise self-control for optimal performance. We applied the strength model of self-control (e.g., Baumeister & Vohs, 2016; Baumeister et al., 1998) to examine the relationship between self-control strength and performance in real matches. Design and methods: Sixteen soccer referees (M age = 30.06 yrs, SD = 7.38) completed a trait self-control scale. Then, over 2–4 matches they completed measures of daily hassles prior to the match and state self-control prior to and after the match. Personal, situational and performance indices were also collected. Data were analyzed using several statistical procedures, including hierarchical linear modeling. Results: The referees exhibited higher levels of trait self-control compared with professional soccer players and the general population. Their state self-control scores were also high. A noticeable decrease (10% or more) in state self-control strength (i.e., ego depletion) was evident in almost half of the matches. Experience of daily hassles and travel time to the match were related to lower pre-match self-control. Ego depletion was associated with self-reported match difficulty and was negatively related to self-rated match performance. Conclusions: The findings are in line with previous studies and the strength model of self-control, highlighting the importance of self-control strength in soccer refereeing. Practitioners and Referee Unions should support referees in planning match day routines to maintain self-control strength.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: State self-control, Trait self-control, Daily hassles, Officials, Football
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2020 11:47
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:56
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705135

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