The company we keep: Exploring the relationship between perceived teammate self-compassion and athlete self-compassion

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Objectives:The purpose was to explore the relationship between athletes' self-compassion and perceptions of their teammates' self-compassion (descriptive norm). A secondary purpose was to explore whether gender moderated this relationship.Design:Cross-sectional, online survey.Method:Team sport competitive athletes (N = 108; Mage = 23.1 years; SDage = 4.68) reported their descriptive norm perceptions of their teammates' self-compassion as well as their own self-compassion.Results:Hierarchical regression analysis indicated a positive relationship between descriptive norms and self-compassion, explaining 17.2% of the variance in self-compassion. The more it was perceived that teammates were engaging in self-compassion, the more likely athletes reported being self-compassionate (β = 0.39). There were no significant main or interaction effects of gender.Conclusions:Athletes' self-compassion is related to their perceptions of how often their teammates are self-compassionate. Coaches and sport psychologists should encourage athletes to build awareness about how their cognitions and behaviours relate to others' cognitions and behaviours.

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