Psychological Factors that Influence Training and Performance of Female Athletes in Sports in Teacher Training Colleges in Central Region of Kenya
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate psychological factors that influence the training and performance of female athletes in sports in teacher training colleges in central region of Kenya. The study assessed the extent to which the coach athlete relationship, coach leadership behaviour, fear of strenuous exercises, fear of injuries resulting from training and motivation using verbal reinforcement influences training and performance of female athletes in sports in teacher training colleges in central region of Kenya. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design. The target population for the study comprised female athletes in certificate and diploma teacher training colleges. The teacher training colleges were stratified into two strata; certificate teacher training college and diploma teacher training college. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 50% certificate teacher training colleges. Since there was only one diploma teacher training college, it was purposively selected. The study selected 444 (21.6%) respondents from the two randomly selected certificate teacher colleges and the one diploma training college. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to code and organize the data. The data were summarized into descriptive statistics of frequencies and percentages. The results were presented in the form of tables. The hypotheses were tested using Wilcoxon signed ranks test at significance level of 0.05. The study results revealed that the female athletes’ involvement in training activities is influenced by the coach leadership behaviour and coach-athlete relationship. The study results also revealed that female athletes differ in their preference for male or female coaches and also youthful or elderly coaches. The fear of strenuous exercises prescribed by the coach, fear of injuries and motivation using verbal reinforcement were all found to influence female athletes’ participation in training activities. As a result, the researcher has recommended training of female athletes by coaches who understand female athletes’ psychological needs, having an assistant coach when a male coach is coaching female athletes, training of teachers/tutors who double as coaches on methodology that equips them with knowledge on the coach-athlete relationship and coach leadership behaviour as well as addressing the psychological factors influencing coaching of female athletes through the curriculum.