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Communication Competence: An Assessment of Male Verses Female College Athletes Underreporting Injuries to Coaches
The interaction between the coach of the team and the players is considered to be one of the most important factors that influence the performance of the team. Many analysts believe that it is very important for the players to have a comfort level with the coach so that they can communicate with them without any hesitation. Communication between the coach and the players implies that the players report to the coach even if they face a petty problem pertaining to the team or sport and vice a versa. However, it has been noted that many players do not inform the coach when they get injured. This has particularly been observed in the case of male athletes. The reporting of slightest injuries to the coach is important because this can have an impact on the performance of the team and the health of the player. The purpose of this study is to analyze the communication differences between the male and female athletes and the potential impacts that this communication gap can have on the performance of the team altogether. The independent as well as the dependent variables will first be conceptualized and then operationalized. At the end of the paper, we shall also take a look at the methods that were used to analyze and measure the data pertaining to the variables. The research question that will be discussed in this paper is "communication competence: an assessment of male vs. female college athletes underreporting injuries to coaches."
Independent variable: Male vs. female college athletes.
Conceptualization: A great deal of research has been done pertaining to the performance of male and female athletes. Moreover, the factors that affect the performance of the two genders have also been thoroughly studied in the past. In this part of the paper, we shall shed light onsome of the factors that have a role to play in the communication competence of the male and female college athletes. This discussion will be done in relevance to the comparison of male and female athletes' reporting of their injuries, which can potentially affect the performance of the team.
It should be noted here that the atmosphere of the male athletes' team is not the same as that of the female athletes' team. The studies that have been conducted in this regard have concluded that the atmosphere of the female athletes' team is usually motivational. The main reason for this is that the female athletes have a tendency to discuss matters with each other and motivate each other. Whenever one female athlete has a problem with anything in the team or outside the team, she will always discuss that problem with her fellow players. The atmosphere is therefore much friendlier as compared to a male athletes' team. On the other hand, the researchers have observed that there is a great deal of ego involved in the male athletes' team. Male athletes portray themselves as strong men and they do not like discussing their issues with their fellow players. This implies that the atmosphere of the male athletes' team is rather ego filled than being motivational. Therefore, issues like concussions and injuries are less likely to be reported by the team members of the male athletes' team as compared to that of female athletes' team.
Another factor that could affect the communication capabilities of the male and female athletes is their image that they leave in the minds of the spectators and their fans. This factor was studied by the researchers by observing the level of arousal in the spectators while they watched their favorite sport on the television or otherwise. The results of the aforementioned studies indicated that the female spectators reported a greater degree of arousal when they watched males play any sport; meanwhile the male spectators also felt a greater degree of arousal while watching male athletes play as compared to when they watched the female athletes play. These results imply that communication of the male athletes is affected by the kind of image that they leave in the minds of their fans and spectators. Since they are thought to be more powerful and less vulnerable than their female counterparts, the male athletes want to maintain this reputation and therefore they prefer not reporting any injuries that they suffer while playing the sport or during the training sessions.
The attitude and behavior of the coach and the team leader also affects the communication gap that could possibly exist between the team members and between the players and the coach. This aspect has also been studied by the analysts and they have discovered that there are some sports in which the coach has to have an aggressive approach. As a result of this aggressive behavior, the players of the team hesitate to discuss their problems with the team leader or the coach and therefore they do not report any minor injuries that they receive while playing the sport. It should be noted here that this is not true for all sports and all coaches. The results of the studies that have been carried out in this regard demonstrate that coaches of the male teams tend to be more aggressive as compared to those of the female teams. Therefore, because of the verbal or physical aggression of the coaches, the male athletes are less likely to report injuries as compared to the female athletes.
Another difference that exists between the male and female athletes and that can affect the way the two genders communicate is their presentation of the physical symptoms. It should be noted here that many studies have been conducted to evaluate if there is any difference in the presentation of the physical symptoms that the male and female athletes are experiencing. The results of the aforementioned studies revealed that the otherwise healthy teenage female athletes tend to have more physical symptoms than their male counterparts. Moreover, these studies also indicated that these physical symptoms were not always consistent with the lab findings or their physical work up. Therefore, this could be one of the reasons why the female athletes tend to report more injuries and concussions in comparison with the male athletes.
It should be noted here that the coping style of every athlete, male or female, differs from that of the other athletes. This implies that every athlete will adapt to the changes that he or she goes through while he or she is part of a sport in a different way. The athletes that have better adaptive coping are less likely to develop increased muscle tension and poor sport performance. The studies that have been carried out to probe into this matter have concluded that the female athletes are better at adaptive coping as compared to the male athletes. The results of the aforementioned study are suggestive of the hypothesis that females are less likely to report injuries to the coaches since they have the capabilities and adaptive abilities to deal with any acute stress conditions.
Many analysts and researchers thought that the difference that exists between the communication competence of the male and female athletes might be because of the difference in communication styles of the two genders. Therefore a couple of studies were also carried out pertaining to this aspect. The results of these studies suggested that as opposed to the perception of the analysts, there is not much of a difference between the communication styles of the male and female athletes. Therefore it cannot be claimed that the female athletes are better at reporting injuries as compared to their male counterparts, or vice a versa, because they have a better communication style.
The last factor that needs to be considered when it comes to discussing the differences between the communication competence of male and female athletes is the way how the team is led and held together. This implies that if the coach or the team leader of a team has made efforts to make sure than there is no communication gap among the members of the team as well as between the team members and the coach or the team leader, then chances are high that the athletes will report their injuries irrespective of their gender.
Operationalization of the Independent Variable: The athletes that were made a part of the studies that were done to make an assessment of the various aspects that could affect the communication competence of the male and female athletes were those that were either college students or who played for their college or university team at some point in their lives. The male and female athletes were chosen at random, however the number of the male athletes was not always the same (for every study) as that of the female athletes. The athletes that were currently a part of the college or university team were in the age bracket of 14 to 19; meanwhile there was no age limit for the…[continue]
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