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Although psychological assessment research has been sparse in the sport of

gymnastics, studies in other sports indicate there are differences between “elite” and

“sub-elite” athletes. Results from the present study seem to support the research in

other sports. Therefore, although it is not suggested that this test be used to determine

which athletes should be picked to compete at the “elite” level, it does indicate that the

psychological make-up of the “elite” gymnast is different then that of other levels, and

that psychological characteristics such as athletic coping skills indicate where those

differences lie. From a practical viewpoint, observed discrepancies between the ACSI-

28 scores of exemplary gymnasts and those of the less adept gymnasts may identify

those psychological characteristics that are in need of improvement. As an example, if

a Level 9 gymnast with real athletic potential scores low, for instance in the

Concentration subscale, then strategies designed to bolster concentration could be

implemented.

There are obviously significant differences between elite level gymnasts and

non-elite level gymnasts, but on which of the ACSI-28 subscales do these differences

show up most clearly?

Coping with Adversity

As noted earlier, a significant MANOVA was obtained for the Level of

gymnast variable using the ACSI-28 scores as the dependent variable. Subsequent

ANOVA and Tukey’s analyses showed a significant difference between Levels for the

Coping with Adversity subscale. The “elite” group (Level 11) scored significantly

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