SIMONA MASSIMINO1, SERGIO RINELLA1, CRISTINA CICARELLI1, MARIA GUARNERA2, DONATELLA DI CORRADO2*
1Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Section of Physiology, University of Catania, Italy - 2Department of Human and Social Sciences, Kore University, Enna, Italy
Introduction: This study aims to investigate the characteristics of those who practice two water sports during development, such as water polo and synchronized swimming, through assessment of emotional states, self-esteem, personological features and visual-spatial skills, such as perceptual organization and visual memory.
Materials and methods: A total of 24 young female athletes (Age: mean, m= 11.47 year; ± 0.61 Standard Deviation, SD; Height: m=143.75 centimeters, ± 6.13SD; Weight: m=39.22 kilograms, ± 3.83SD)practicing team water sports at a competitive level from at least one year participated in the research; 11 of them were part of a synchronized swimming team and 13 of a water polo squad. To carry out the present study, in order to assess personality, self-esteem, mood and visual-spatial skills of sample, the following psychological assessment tests were used: 1) Big Five Questionnaire for Children, 2) Multidimensional Self-esteem Test, 3) Profile of Mood States - Adolescent, and 4) Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test.The study was performed at the sports center “Torre del Grifo Village” (Mascalucia, Italy).
Results: The study has showed, in both groups of athletes, the presence of personological features oriented to establish friendly and cooperative relations; what it makes us conclude that within the two teams there are positive relationships between athletes, also aimed at achieving the common goal, and that the group component is crucial. It is also seen that in the synchronized swimming team the individual dimension emerges strongly, in terms of athletic competition spirit.
Conclusion: The comparison between the two groups showed that the water polo seems to encourage the development of visual-spatial skills, compared to synchronized swimmers.It is due to better performance in the memory copy of Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, by the water polo athletes.
water sport, women, development;emotion, self-esteem