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Motivational Factors in Young Spanish Athletes: A Qualitative Focus Drawing From Self-Determination Theory and Achievement Goal Perspectives

Bartolomé J. Almagro, Pedro Sáenz-López, Juan A. Moreno-Murcia, and Chris Spray

This study qualitatively examined how athletes perceive their coach’s support for autonomy, as well as athletes’ motivation, satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework of young Spanish athletes. Fifteen Spanish athletes (six females and nine males) between 13 and 16 years of age were interviewed from various sporting contexts. Content analysis of the interviews revealed: the coexistence of various types of motivation for the practice of these sports by the athletes that were interviewed; the presence of integrated regulation among some of these young athletes; the importance of autonomy support and the satisfaction of basic psychological needs for motivation and athletic commitment. The results are discussed on the basis of self-determination and achievement goal theory. Strategies are proposed for improving motivation and adherence to athletic practice in young athletes.

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Achievement Emotions, Intention to Be Physically Active, and Academic Achievement in Physical Education: Gender Differences

Sebastián Fierro-Suero, Pedro Sáenz-López, José Carmona-Márquez, and Bartolomé J. Almagro

Purpose: The objective of the study was to evaluate the relationships among the achievement emotions experienced during physical education classes, the intention to be physically active, and academic achievement. Methods: The sample consisted of 764 Spanish secondary education students (348 boys and 416 girls). Results: Pride, enjoyment, and hopelessness were the main emotions to explain the intention to be physically active, whereas enjoyment and boredom were the most important emotions to explain academic achievement. Given that boys had a better emotional experience than girls, the effect of gender in the prediction was studied. It highlights the significant moderating effect of gender for enjoyment and pride in the intention to be physically active. Discussion/Conclusion: These results show the need to apply strategies focused on each emotion, taking into account the students’ gender, for those that help to improve their emotional experience during physical education classes.