Grit in Sports: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Grit and Performance of Skiers and Golfers

Date of Award


Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Steve Portenga

First Committee Member

Kirsten Allen


Grit and athletic performance, psychological attributes, physical performance


Individual grit scores have been positively correlated with high achievement levels in performance realms such as military cadet school, education, and national spelling bee competitions (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, and Kelly, 2007). A domain that has not previously been explored with relation to grit is athletics. Many athletes and coaches believe that psychological attributes are correlated to physical performance, though there is still a great deal to learn about this connection. The purpose of the present study is to bridge this gap, using the current grit research from non-sport domains to explore whether or not a correlation exists between grit and athletic performance. Athletes from individual sports were recruited as participants to better understand personal grittiness levels and athletic achievement. The 12-Item Grit Scale was the independent variable and the measured effect was athletic performance, as determined by the national ranking of skiers and handicap of golfers. An online survey to assess athletic performance and grit score was administered to skiers (n = 20) and golfers (n = 14).


Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


24 pages

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