The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of group and individual goal setting versus a control condition on bowling performance (BP), personal goals (PG), and perceived goal difficulty (PGD) across five weeks. Novice bowlers (N = 36) were randomly assigned to one of the three goal conditions. Three separate 3 × 5 (Goal Condition × Time: Weeks of Study) repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed significant main effects for time on BP and PGD, and significant group by time interaction effects on BP and PG. The significant group × time interaction effects revealed that participants in the group goal setting condition increased both BP and PG relatively more than participants in the other goal setting conditions. Therefore, group goal setting may enhance performance in an individual sport by potentially increasing personal goal setting under difficult performance demands.
Scott R. Johnson, Andrew C. Ostrow, Frank M. Perna, and Edward F. Etzel are all with the Sport Behavior program, School of Physical Education at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6116.