In two cross-sectional studies we investigated whether soccer players’ well-being (Study 1) and moral functioning (Studies 1 and 2) is related to performance-approach goals and to the autonomous and controlling reasons underlying their pursuit. In support of our hypotheses, we found in Study 1 that autonomous reasons were positively associated with vitality and positive affect, whereas controlling reasons were positively related to negative affect and mostly unrelated to indicators of morality. To investigate the lack of systematic association with moral outcomes, we explored in Study 2 whether performance-approach goals or their underlying reasons would yield an indirect relation to moral outcomes through their association with players’ objectifying attitude—their tendency to depersonalize their opponents. Structural equation modeling showed that controlling reasons for performance-approach goals were positively associated with an objectifying attitude, which in turn was positively associated to unfair functioning. Results are discussed within the achievement goal perspective (Elliot, 2005) and self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000).
Maarten Vansteenkiste, Athanasios Mouratidis and Willy Lens
Athanasios Mouratidis, Willy Lens and Maarten Vansteenkiste
We relied on self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000) to investigate to what extent autonomy-supporting corrective feedback (i.e., feedback that coaches communicate to their athletes after poor performance or mistakes) is associated with athletes’ optimal motivation and well-being. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a cross-sectional study with 337 (67.1% males) Greek adolescent athletes (age M = 15.59, SD = 2.37) from various sports. Aligned with SDT, we found through path analysis that an autonomy-supporting versus controlling communication style was positively related to future intentions to persist and well-being and negatively related to ill-being. These relations were partially mediated by the perceived legitimacy of the corrective feedback (i.e., the degree of acceptance of corrective feedback), and, in turn, by intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, and external regulation for doing sports. Results indicate that autonomy-supporting feedback can be still motivating even in cases in which such feedback conveys messages of still too low competence.
Maarten Vansteenkiste, Athanasios Mouratidis, Thomas van Riet and Willy Lens
In the current study we aimed to examine the antecedents and outcomes associated with the variability in competitive volleyball players’ (N = 67; M age = 19.45; SD = 5.13) situational achievement goal pursuit and its underlying autonomous and controlling reasons. Players were followed during six consecutive games and data were analyzed through multilevel modeling. Players’ dominant contextual goal pursuit reported at the onset of the study related to their situational (i.e., game-specific) goal pursuit. Further, variation in game-to-game mastery-approach goal pursuit, as compared with the pursuit of other achievement goals, related to variation in prosocial behavior. Finally, autonomous reasons underlying situational mastery-approach goal pursuit related positively to games-specific prosocial behavior, enjoyment, and performance satisfaction. The discussion emphasizes the necessity to study players’ game-to-game motivational dynamics and the reasons underlying players’ achievement goal pursuit.
Athanasios Mouratidis, Maarten Vansteenkiste, Willy Lens and Georgios Sideridis
Based on self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), an experimental study with middle school students participating in a physical education task and a correlational study with highly talented sport students investigated the motivating role of positive competence feedback on participants’ well-being, performance, and intention to participate. In Study 1, structural equation modeling favored the hypothesized motivational model, in which, after controlling for pretask perceived competence and competence valuation, feedback positively predicted competence satisfaction, which in turn predicted higher levels of vitality and greater intentions to participate, through the mediation of autonomous motivation. No effects on performance were found. Study 2 further showed that autonomous motivation mediated the relation between competence satisfaction and well-being, whereas amotivation mediated the negative relation between competence satisfaction and ill-being and rated performance. The discussion focuses on the motivational role of competence feedback in sports and physical education settings.