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Are Narcissists the Best Sport Pressure Performers?

Which athletes perform best under pressure? When the game is on the line, coaches need to know who is the go to player. Who can execute? Who can handle the moment? These are vital questions to answer.

What do you think of when you hear the word narcissism? Typically there is a negative connotation such as selfish or arrogant. However, narcissism can also describe a person high in confidence who excels when success leads to personal glory.

Research in the February 2019 edition of the journal Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology examined the relationship between narcissism, effort, and performance. The results suggested “individuals high in narcissism excel when opportunity for success exists, thanks to their greater investment in the task.”

So what does this mean? Those with narcissistic traits might be the one you call on at the end of the game. Not all athletes have the mental make-up to manage pressure. This research gives us some idea of personality traits that can bring home victory.

Dr. Rick Van Haveren

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