Differences Between Professional and Recreational Athletes in Psychological Characteristics And Habits During the Covd-19 Pandemic


  • Danijela Kuna Faculty of Kinesiology, Osijek
  • Lana Škorić Clinical Hospital Center, Zagreb
  • Terezija Buljan Clinical Hospital Center, Zagreb




This study was conducted with the aim of investigating differences between recreational and professional athletes in perfectionism, distress, coping strategies, and changes in sports activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants in the study consisted of a sample of 389 professional and recreational athletes. The results of the conducted analysis indicate the existence of certain differences between the two considered groups. On average, professional athletes score higher on the perfectionism scale than recreational athletes (t=-2,92, p<,01). Also, professional athletes were on average more likely to use relaxation techniques before (t=-8,30, p<,01) and during lockdown (t=-6,20, p<,01) compared to recreational athletes. Furthermore, professional athletes estimated that on average they missed training (t=-6,52, p<,01) and sports performances more (t=-11,30; p<,01) compared to recreational athletes. On average, professional athletes report a significantly larger reduction in training compared to recreational athletes (t=4,23, p<,01). Considering our results, we think it would be beneficial to focus on this topic in future studies.