The Goal Effectiveness Paradox in Sport: Examining the Goal Practices of Collegiate Athletes

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Idaho
  • 2 Pennsylvania State University
  • 3 Miami University
  • 4 De Montfort University
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The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify how frequently and effectively collegiate athletes set goals and goal strategies and assess differences in goal practices across effectiveness groups. Participants were 321 male and 249 female college athletes participating in 18 sports at four universities, who completed the Collegiate Goal Setting in Sport Questionnaire. Descriptive results indicated that most athletes set goals but rated them as only moderately effective. MANOVA findings revealed that highly effective goal setters used all types of goals and implementation strategies more frequently and effectively than their less-effective counterparts. Discriminant analysis results revealed that the frequency of product-related goals and goal implementation strategy usage and the effectiveness of process-related goals best discriminated between effectiveness groups. Discussion focuses on the need to educate practitioners about the value of goals and how to use them most effectively.

Damon Burton is with the Division of HPERD at the University of Idaho, 107 PEB, Moscow, ID 83844-2401. Robert Weinberg is with the PHS Department at Miami University, Phillips Hall, Oxford, OH 45056. David Yukelson is at Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Bldg., University Park, PA 16802. Daniel Weigand is with the PE, Sport and Leisure Department at De Montfort University, 37 Lansdowne Rd., Bedford, England, MK40 2BZ.

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