Goal Attainment and Non-Goal Occurrences as Underlying Mechanisms to an Athlete’s Sources of Enjoyment

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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The present study examined a conceptual framework developed to organize and explain an athlete’s sources of enjoyment. The framework consisted of two potential underlying mechanisms: goal attainment and non-goal occurrences. Goal attainment are experiences that athletes set, strive for, and achieve. Athletes have two functionally related goal levels, labeled universal and general, which form a goal hierarchy. Non-goal occurrences are environmental events that take place but are not a priori set as goals. Participants were 13- to 16-year-old high school and park league baseball and basketball players who answered a single postseason questionnaire. Stepwise regression analyses indicated partial framework support. General goal attainment predicted both universal goal attainment and seasonal enjoyment, universal goal attainment failed to predict seasonal enjoyment, and non-goal occurrences showed no relationship to either universal goal attainment or seasonal enjoyment.

Gary L. Stein is with the Dept. of Exercise and Movement Science, Esslinger Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1240. Tara K. Scanlan is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Slichter Hall, UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024.

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