The purpose of this study was of examine the motivational perspectives of athletes participating in the Senior Olympic Games. One hundred thirty-seven senior athletes (54 males. 82 females, and 1 nonidentifier) completed measures of goal orientations, beliefs about the causes of success in sport, intrinsic motivation, and views about the purpose of sport. Multivariate analysis revealed a positive association between task orientation and intrinsic motivation, the belief that success in sport is achieved through hard work, and self-improvement-based purposes of sport. In contrast, ego orientation was associated with the belief that success in sport is achieved by those who are gifted with natural ability and who know how to maximize external and deceptive factors. Further, ego orientation was linked to the belief that the purpose of sport was for personal gain. The motivational implications of the present findings are discussed based on the tenets of goal perspective theory.
Maria Newton is with the Department of Human Performance and Health Promotion, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148. Mary D. Fry is with the Department of Human Movement Sciences and Education. The University of Memphis, Memphis. TN 35182.