The present study examined the perceived causes of success among elite adolescent tennis players and investigated the function of gender in the interdependence of goal orientation and beliefs concerning tennis achievement. Male and female adolescents (N = 121) completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) specific to tennis and a questionnaire tapping beliefs about success in this sport. Factor analyses revealed two conceptually coherent personal goal-belief dimensions for the females. The first was comprised of ego orientation and the beliefs that ability and maintaining a positive impression were the primary causes of success. The second consisted of a task orientation coupled with the belief that effort and a de-emphasis on external factors and deceptive tactics would lead to tennis accomplishment. In the case of males, an ego goal-belief dimension emerged. The motivational implications of assuming these differing goal-beliefs in youth sport is discussed.
Maria Newton is with the Department of HPHP at the University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148. Joan Duda is with the Department of HKLS at Purdue University, Lambert Gymnasium, West Lafayette, IN 47906.