Emotional intelligence can help Olympians

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OLYMPIC athletes can sustain elite performance if their supporting colleagues have a high level of emotional intelligence, according to research.

Results from a study of a national sports organisation involved in the London 2012 Olympic Games found that it is possible to increase the emotional intelligence of members of an organisation.

And the results show that this has an impact on how the organisation and individuals function.

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth, together with colleagues from Loughborough and Cardiff Metropolitan Universities, explored the link.

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to identify, understand and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.

Lead researcher Dr Chris Wagstaff, from The University of Portsmouth, said: ‘These abilities impact the quality and closeness of relationships such as that between coach and athlete, which are fundamental to athletes performing well in competitions.

‘Athletes stand a better chance of succeeding in competition if their organisation can develop its emotional intelligence.’