Football Player’s Aggressive and Violent Behaviors

Aggressiveness in Sports

Sports aggression according to psychology is behavior directed to the target means to an end. Other definitions of aggression incorporate the notion of intent to cause harm. It’s a behavior to be classified as aggressive, the perpetrator must have the intent to harm the victim. This definition rules out some behaviors that we might normally think are aggressive.

For example, a football player who accidentally breaks the leg of another player or a driver who accidentally hits a pedestrian would not be our definition of aggression because harm was already done, but there’s no intent.

Many people ask if playing football makes you violent? Well, physical pain is part of the game in football, however, being aggressive is another story because most of the aggressive players don’t stay in the field. If the players use aggression recklessly during a game, it will affect their performance, but if they used in a controlled manner this aggression can turn into a positive way and help them play more competently.

Even though controlled aggression does help in certain circumstances of the game, it is also crucial that you control your emotions and don’t get too frustrated because it may lead to dangerous tackles, arguing with refereeing decisions and subsequently being booked or even sent off.

Deferent Type of Aggression in Football


Hostile Aggression is a behavior that prompted by a desire to hurt someone. It is a serious behavior driven by frustration which normally involves anger and its primary aim is to hurt the player.


Instrumental Aggression is an aggressive behavior intended to achieve a goal. When a player receives a reward because of a deviant aggressive act, he or she will be conditioned towards committing that action again when triggered to obtain than previously possessed reward.

There is normally an elaborate set of rules in contact sports like football to make sure that moderate levels of instrumental aggression are permitted, whereas serious instrumental aggression is not. An example of this is if one footballer pushing another player of balance he/she will immediately receive a card from the referee.

Developing Aggression in a Young Footballer.

Youth violence can partially be discovered due to pressure from the parents and coaches to perform well in the competition. Even researchers, as well as media, have been told by participants that children’s behaviour in sports is influenced by their parents. It is also found that coaches and parents are placing a higher emphasis on winning than performing well and showing sportsmanship. The athletes are pushed to perform and compete at levels beyond their skill to perform well for professional sports. This pressure can push the youth to their breaking point. This prompts them to act vigorously if they feel it will help them to appear more successful.

The coaches who place a higher emphasis on winning, tend to ignore the importance of sportsmanship in youth sports. Athletes will intentionally hurt a good player from the other team to prevent them from returning to the game, thus increasing their chances of winning.

The lack of sportsmanship will also lead to a fight as evidence in the case of the youth football player that triggers the winning team taunting the losing team. The youth will tend to react by doing what they perceive the coach values, often prompting unsportsmanlike conduct such as arguing, fighting, or other violent acts. Poor influence from a role model is another way in which youth athletes view violence in sports. The coaches are viewed as role models for young athletes, and this behaviour encourages more from the children.

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