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Meredith Rocchi and Luc G. Pelletier

This study explored how the coaching context influences coaches’ psychological needs, motivation, and reported interpersonal behaviors, using self-determination theory. In Study 1, 56 coaches identified how contextual factors influence their coaching experience. Coaches identified administration, athlete motivation, colleagues, parents, professional development, time, and work–life as having the largest impact on them. In Study 2, 424 coaches reported on their perceptions of the factors identified in Study 1 and their psychological needs, motivation, and interpersonal behaviors. Structural equation modeling analyses suggested perceptions of the coaching context supported or thwarted their psychological needs, which positively or negatively predicted their autonomous and controlled motivation. Coaches’ autonomous motivation predicted their reported supportive interpersonal behaviors and controlled motivation predicted thwarting behaviors. Overall, the results provided additional support for understanding how the coaching context, coaches’ psychological needs, and their motivation for coaching relate to their coaching behaviors.

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Rémi Radel, Philippe Sarrazin and Luc Pelletier

The aim of this study was to examine whether motivational orientations for a new motor task could be triggered by unconscious determinants. Participants were primed with subliminal words depicting an autonomous, a neutral, or a controlled motivation during an initial unrelated task, followed by working on an unknown motor task. Behavioral, physiological, and self-reported indicators of motivation for this task were assessed. Overall, results indicated a significant impact of the priming condition on all these indicators; whereas the priming of autonomous motivation led to positive outcomes, the priming of controlled motivation led to negatives outcomes when compared with the neutral condition. Implications regarding the priming of unconscious determinants of motivation for sport and exercise are discussed.

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Boris Cheval, Philippe Sarrazin, Luc Pelletier and Malte Friese

Background:

Promoting regular physical activity (PA) and lessening sedentary behaviors (SB) constitute a public health priority. Recent evidence suggests that PA and SB are not only related to reflective processes (eg, behavioral intentions), but also to impulsive approach-avoidance tendencies (IAAT). This study aims to test the effect of a computerized IAAT intervention on an exercise task.

Methods:

Participants (N = 115) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions, in which they were either trained to approach PA and avoid SB (ApPA-AvSB condition), to approach SB and avoid PA (ApSB-AvPA condition), or to approach and avoid PA and SB equally often (active control condition). The main outcome variable was the time spent carrying out a moderate intensity exercise task.

Results:

IAAT toward PA decreased in the ApSB-AvPA condition, tended to increase in the ApPA-AvSB condition, and remained stable in the control condition. Most importantly, the ApPA-AvSB manipulation led to more time spent exercising than the ApSB-AvPA condition. Sensitivity analyses excluding individuals who were highly physically active further revealed that participants in the ApPA-AvSB condition spent more time exercising than participants in the control condition.

Conclusions:

These findings provide preliminary evidence that a single intervention session can successfully change impulsive approach tendencies toward PA and can increase the time devoted to an exercise task, especially among individuals who need to be more physically active. Potential implications for health behavior theories and behavior change interventions are outlined.

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Monika Slovinec D’Angelo, Robert D. Reid and Luc G. Pelletier

Despite the known benefits of habitual exercise in patients with heart disease, less than half of these patients exercise regularly and many of those who initiate programs fail to maintain physical activity routines over the long term. The aim of this research was to examine processes related to short- and long-term regulation of exercise to gain a clearer understanding of why people might fail to maintain intended behavioral changes. We modeled intention formation and plan formulation to investigate the distinct roles of self-efficacy and motivation (self-determination) in different phases of behavior change. Our results showed self-efficacy to be more relevant to exercise intentions and motivation to exercise planning. This research provides evidence supporting the proposition that the psychological processes related to short- and long-term regulation of behavior change differ and suggests that people might fail to continue regulating intended behavior owing to a lack of self-determined motivation.

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Robert J. Vallerand, Pasquale G. Colavecchio and Luc G. Pelletier

This paper introduces a model on psychological momentum (PM) in sport (Vallerand, 1985, 1987) and presents preliminary results supportive of the model. The antecedents-consequences PM model postulates that PM refers to perceptions that the actor is progressing toward his/her goal. The model emphasizes that PM perception must be distinguished from its antecedents and performance consequences. In addition, personal and situational variables are hypothesized to lead to perceptions of PM while personal and contextual variables are hypothesized to moderate the PM-performance relationship. This study tested hypotheses derived from the model with respect to the impact of antecedent variables on PM perceptions and attempted to ascertain the link between PM perceptions and performance inferences. Subjects with high and low tennis experience read scenarios depicting a match between two tennis players wherein the score was tied at 5 all in the first set. Two versions of the scenarios were prepared so that the momentum pattern as manipulated by the score configuration was either present or absent. Results revealed that the presence of a PM pattern led to enhanced PM perceptions. In addition, both the score configuration and the experience variables led to inferences that the player having PM should win the first set, and there were some limited indications that such inferences generalized to winning the match. Results are discussed in light of the PM model, and directions for future research are underscored.

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Luc G. Pelletier, Kim M. Tuson, Michelle S. Fortier, Robert J. Vallerand, Nathalie M. Briére and Marc R. Blais

A new measure of motivation toward sport has been developed in French, namely the Echelle de Motivation vis-à-vis les Sports. Two studies were conducted to translate and validate this new measure in English. The Sport Motivation Scale (SMS) consists of seven subscales that measure three types of Intrinsic Motivation (IM; IM to Know, IM to Accomplish Things, and IM to Experience Stimulation), three forms of regulation for Extrinsic Motivation (Identified, Introjected, and External), and Amotivation. The first study confirmed the factor structure of the scale and revealed a satisfactory level of internal consistency. Correlations among the subscales revealed a simplex pattern confirming the self-determination continuum and the construct validity of the scale. Gender differences were similar to those obtained with the French-Canadian version. The more self-determined forms of motivation were associated with more positive responses on related consequences. In a second study, the SMS was administered on two occasions and revealed adequate test-retest reliability.