Empirical studies attesting to the effectiveness of goal setting in sport have been plagued by equivocation. Inconsistencies may relate to task/goal complexity and the types of goals that participants are asked to use (Hardy, Jones, & Gould, 1996). This study addresses the second of these issues by examining the relative efficacy of two types of goal-setting training program that differ according to their primary focus. Thirty-seven club golfers completed the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 on three occasions at important competitions and the Sport Psychology Skills Questionnaire prior to, and following, the intervention. Two-factor (Group × Test) ANOVAs revealed a significant interaction (p < .05) for ability, indicating significant improvements from Test 1 to Test 2 for the process-oriented group, and between Test 1 and Test 3. The significant interactions (p < .05) for self-efficacy, cognitive anxiety control, and concentration provide further evidence for the positive impact of process goals in competitive situations.
Kieran Kingston and Lew Hardy both are with the School of Sport, Health, and Physical Education Sciences at the University of Wales-Bangor, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2EN, UK