Narcissism can help sporting performance

Personality can have a significant impact on sporting performance at the highest level - and those with narcissistic tendencies often increase their effort when the pressure is on. This is according to new research from the Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance at Bangor University, which found those who think highly of their abilities tend to up their game in difficult circumstances.

According to the investigation, however, these individuals also perform less admirably when their chances of tasting victory are diminished.

Dr Ross Roberts, Institute member and Chartered Psychologist, said narcissists do well in stressful circumstances because they know adulation and admiration could be just around the corner, adding these performers are often "driven by glory".

He added: "People with these personality types perform less well in situations where their desires will not be met - where pressure is lacking."

Findings showed this could refer to team activities in which a person is not given individual attention or during training sessions between serious competitions.