Aggression can be defined as
“feelings of anger or antipathy resulting in hostile or violent behaviour; readiness to attack or confront.” (Oxford dictionary 2014)
In almost all sports there is physical contact. There is a line between acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour however. There are different forms of aggression that may be seen within these contact sports, verbal and emotional aggression and also physical aggression. A recent example of physical aggression was Luis Suarez biting the Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, an aggressive incident that seen him banned for 10 games. Although we may see aggressive behaviour on the pitch, or during rugby games not all of it is bad. Physical hostile aggression act like that of Suarez are unacceptable and we are seeing less of them due to the threshold of what we deem acceptable behaviour. Aggressive assertive acts however are seen to be acceptable forms of aggression.
According to Gill, the four criteria that define behaviour as aggressive are:
There must be physical or verbal behaviour.
It must involve causing harm or injury, whether it is physical or psychological.
It must be directed towards another living thing.
There must be intention to cause harm or injury.
Baron stated that:
“aggression is any form of behaviour toward the goal of harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment.” (Baron, R.A. Richardson, D.R. 2004)
There are four different types of aggression:
Many people see aggression in sport as a negative, but some sport psychologists agree that aggression can improve performance (Widmeyer & Birch, 1984). This type of aggression is called assertive behaviour (Bredemeier, 1994), this is where a player will play within the rules of the sport at a very high energy and intensity but within the rules. An example would be at the...