Initial, Continued, and Sustained Motivation in Adolescent Female Athletes: A Season-Long Analysis

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Research on motivation to participate in physical activity has typically been characterized by an assessment of reasons for involvement at a single point in time. This study examined motives for participating, self-perceptions (perceived success, perceived basketball competence, perceived peer acceptance), and enjoyment several times during a sport season relative to player status (Le., amount of playing time). Female basketball players (N = 141) completed measures of participation motivation, perceptions of physical competence and peer acceptance, success, and enjoyment at preseason, midseason, and end of season. Players were classified as starters, primary substitutes, or secondary substitutes by their coaches based on extent of actual playing time. All athletes were similar in their reasons for participating; these included mastery, friends, team atmosphere, and fitness. However, starters and primary substitutes were higher than secondary substitutes in perceptions of success, basketball competence, peer acceptance, and enjoyment at midseason, and starters were higher than primary and secondary substitutes on perceived basketball competence at end of season. These results suggest that positive self-perceptions and affect experienced in the physical domain are related to players ’ opportunities to demonstrate competence in salient achievement areas.

The authors are with the Department of Exercise and Movement Science, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1240.

This manuscript was based on a master’s thesis conducted by Kirsten M. Frazer, who is currently an assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team at the University of Oregon.

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