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Tristan L. Wallhead and Nikos Ntoumanis

This study looked at the influence of a Sport Education intervention program on students’ motivational responses in a high school physical education setting. Two intact groups were assigned curricular interventions: the Sport Education group (n = 25), which received eight 60-min lessons, and the comparison group (n = 26), which received a traditional teaching approach to sport-based activity. Pre- and postintervention measures of student enjoyment, perceived effort, perceived competence, goal orientations, perceived motivational climate, and perceived autonomy were obtained for both groups. Repeated-measures ANOVAs showed significant increases in student enjoyment and perceived effort in the Sport Education group only. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that increases in task-involving climate and perceived autonomy explained a significant amount of unique variance in the Sport Education students’ postintervention enjoyment, perceived effort, and perceived competence responses. The results suggest that the Sport Education curriculum may increase perceptions of a task-involving climate and perceived autonomy, and in so doing, enhance the motivation of high school students toward physical education.

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Nikos Ntoumanis and Stuart J.H. Biddle

The purpose of the present study was to examine how coping strategies in sport relate to differences in levels of anxiety intensity and to the interpretation of these levels as being facilitative or debilitative to performance. British university athletes were asked to recall a recent stressful situation in their sport, the coping strategies they used, and the intensity and direction of their anxiety symptoms. Results showed that perceptions of facilitative cognitive anxiety were related to the use of problem-focused coping. High levels of cognitive anxiety intensity were related to emotion-focused coping and avoidance coping. With regard to somatic anxiety, there was a significant interaction between the intensity and direction dimensions in that similar high levels of anxiety intensity were related to different coping strategies, depending on whether somatic anxiety was perceived to be facilitative or debilitative. From a practical point of view, the results show that athletes with positive perceptions of their anxiety level are able to use effective coping strategies. Lastly, suggestions are offered for further exploration of the nature of the interrelationship between coping strategies and anxiety.

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Maria Kavussanu, Glyn C. Roberts, and Nikos Ntoumanis

The purpose of this study was to examine the role of moral atmosphere and perceived performance motivational climate on moral functioning of college basketball players and to determine the relationship between moral atmosphere and perceived performance motivational climate. A total of 199 athletes participated in the study. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the interrelationships among the variables of interest. Athletes’ perceptions of the moral atmosphere of their team had a significant effect on moral functioning, while the effect of performance motivational climate on moral functioning was not significant. Perceptions of a performance motivational climate were positively associated with the moral atmosphere of the team. Implications of the findings for eliminating unsportspersonlike conduct in the sport realm are discussed.

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John W. Mahoney, Daniel F. Gucciardi, Clifford J. Mallett, and Nikos Ntoumanis

In light of the extant literature, the aim of the current study was to compare adolescents’ perspectives on mental toughness and its development across performance contexts, and to explore if such perspectives align with Bronfenbrenner’s (2001) bioecological model. Eighteen mentally tough adolescents (9 boys, 9 girls, Mage = 15.6 years) from three performance contexts (i.e., sport, academia, and music) participated in focus groups, 7 of whom also participated in follow-up one-to-one interviews. Inductive analyses revealed that mental toughness was conceptualized by 9 personal characteristics, and that while similar across performance contexts, some difference between previous mental toughness conceptualization and the current study existed. Analyses also revealed that mental toughness development was predicated on significant others, supportive social processes, critical incidents, and curiosity. These findings resonated with the properties of the bioecological model. Future research into how bioecological factors combine to facilitate mental toughness development during critical stages of life was suggested.