Exploring the Relationship Between Athletes’ Perceptions of Their Team Motivational Climate and Their Sport Shame

in The Sport Psychologist

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Mario S. FontanaSUNY Brockport, Brockport, NY, USA

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Mary D. FryUniversity of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA

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E. Whitney G. MooreEast Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA

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Athletes have reported that they would experience shame while playing sport, both for their lack of preparation (process shame) and for their poor outcomes (result shame) during competition. The purpose of this study was to explore how motivational climate is related to athletes’ process and result shame. A survey was administered to 259 high-school track and field athletes before a practice 3 weeks into the season. Structural equation modeling showed that a perceived caring and task-involving motivational climate was positively related to athletes’ process shame and negatively related to their result shame. Perceptions of an ego-involving motivational climate were negatively related to athletes’ process shame and positively related to athletes’ result shame. The results highlight that caring and task-involving behaviors in coaches may help mitigate proneness to shame in athletes.

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