Elite athletes are higher on Grit than a comparison sample of non-athletes

Line From, Dorthe Kirkegaard Thomsen, Martin Hammershøj Olesen

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This study examines whether grit and conscientiousness distinguish elite-sport performers from a comparison sample of non-athletes. Participants were 128 elite athletes and 1701 adults recruited through a human resource company. Both groups filled out short-form questionnaires measuring grit and conscientiousness. Consistent with expectations, there was a high positive correlation between grit and conscientiousness and the elite athletes reported higher grit than the non-athletes. Contrary to expectations, the non-athletes scored higher on conscientiousness compared to the elite athletes. The importance of grit for attaining elite status in sport is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Pages (from-to)2-7
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2020


  • social work and social conditions

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