Background: Although research on balance skills and personality were explored in the field of sports science, little is known about the relationship between the two phenomena. This study aims to investigate the association of postural balance with traits of personality and temperament. The differences between elite athletes, football players, and the control sample will also be examined.
Methods: Participants in the case-control study were 73 people, aged between 16 and 30 years old (M = 21.29, SD = 2.47), including 59% of men. Three samples of participants consisted of Elite Athletes (AE, n = 17, 23.29%) of the Polish National Team; Football Players (FP, n = 32, 43.84%); and Control Sample (CS, n = 24, 32.88%). Postural control was assessed on a force platform (Type 9286AA, Kistler Instrument AG, Winterthur, Switzerland) with a sampling frequency of 100 Hz. The center of pressure (COP) parameters was measured during 20 seconds in both conditions eye open, and eye closed, in both directions anterior-posterior (AP) and medial-lateral (ML). The COP parameters include standard deviation (SD), mean range (RA), mean velocity (MV), and entropy (SE). The NEO-FFI questionnaire was used to assess Big-Five personality traits, whereas the FCB-TI was used to measure temperament traits.
Results: One-way ANOVA revealed that the EA and CS groups were more stable in ML direction than the FP group. In the AP direction, the athletes from the EA group were more stable than the CS group. Nor personality, neither temperament did not differentiate the three groups of participants, beside agreeableness, which was significantly lower in both EA and FP groups. Openness to experiences is positively associated with COP parameters, as it was shown in regression analysis. All COP parameters can explain for about 40% of openness variability.
Conclusions: The results of this study showed that EA and CS have better stability than footballers in both ML and AP direction. Openness seems to be related to postural balance skills.