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In the current study we aimed to examine the antecedents and outcomes associated with the variability in competitive volleyball players’ (N = 67; Mage = 19.45; SD = 5.13) situational achievement goal pursuit and its underlying autonomous and controlling reasons. Players were followed during six consecutive games and data were analyzed through multilevel modeling. Players’ dominant contextual goal pursuit reported at the onset of the study related to their situational (i.e., game-specific) goal pursuit. Further, variation in game-to-game mastery-approach goal pursuit, as compared with the pursuit of other achievement goals, related to variation in prosocial behavior. Finally, autonomous reasons underlying situational mastery-approach goal pursuit related positively to games-specific prosocial behavior, enjoyment, and performance satisfaction. The discussion emphasizes the necessity to study players’ game-to-game motivational dynamics and the reasons underlying players’ achievement goal pursuit.
Note. The first two authors equally contributed to this project and can both be considered as leading authors on this project. Maarten Vansteenkiste is with the University of Gent, Belgium. Athanasios Mouratidis is with the University of Leuven, Belgium, and with Hacettepe University, Turkey. Thomas Van Riet is with the University of Gent, Belgium. Willy Lens is with the University of Leuven, Belgium, and with the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.