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The purpose of this investigation was to assess how goal-setting styles influenced the effectiveness of a season-long goal-setting program for gymnastics. Participants were 25 female junior high school gymnasts, ages 12-14. Goalsetting styles were assessed clinically by team coaches and empirically by combined goal-orientation and gymnastics-competence scores. Goal-setting style results were generally consistent with model predictions. None of the failure-oriented (FO) gymnasts competed in one event for all meets. Performance and, to a lesser degree, cognitive findings for the three remaining goalsetting style groups supported model predictions. Performance-oriented (PO) gymnasts significantly improved performance over time, whereas success-oriented (SO) gymnasts experienced a slight performance decrement. MANOVA results also revealed goal-setting style differences on postseason program evaluations, with PO gymnasts having the most favorable ratings of goal-setting training (GST) program effectiveness.
Barbara E. Pierce is now at Funtastics, Coeur d’Alene, ID. Damon Burton are with the Division of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance at the University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-2401.