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B. Ann Boyce and Sarah M. Bingham

The present study investigated the effect of three goal-setting groups (self-set, assigned, and control) and three levels of self-efficacy (low, medium, and high) on bowling performance of college students (N = 288). The performance/retention trials were analyzed in a 3 × 2 × 10 (Goal Conditions × Self-Efficacy Levels × Trials) ANCOVA design, with repeated measures on the last factor and baseline performance as the covariate. Results of the data analysis revealed a significant main effect for self-efficacy (SE) levels for males and females. Individuals at high and medium SE levels performed significantly better than those at a low SE level. The nonsignificant main effect for goal groups was attributed to the spontaneous goal-setting behavior of the control group. Finally, there was a main effect for trials and planned comparisons indicated that as trials progressed female students improved. Evidence of a performance plateau was present for male students, as they showed marginal improvement across trials.

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Samantha M. McDonald and Stewart G. Trost


This study evaluated the effects of a goal setting intervention on aerobic fitness (AF) in 6th to 8th grade students.


Students at the intervention school received a lesson on SMART goal setting. Students in the comparison school served as a measurement-only group. AF was assessed via the PACER multistage shuttle run test pre and post intervention. Between-group differences for change in AF were assessed using a RM ANCOVA.


A significant group by time interaction was observed for PACER performance, F(1,263) = 39.9, p < .0001. Intervention students increased PACER performance from 40.6 to 45.9 laps, while comparison students exhibited a decline from 30.2 to 23.4 laps. Intervention students were 10 times as likely as those in the comparison school to maintain Healthy Fitness Zone status or progress from Needs Improvement Zone to Healthy Fitness Zone.


Educating middle school students about SMART goal setting may be an effective strategy for improving aerobic fitness.

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Joachim Stoeber, Mark A. Uphill and Sarah Hotham

The question of how perfectionism affects performance is highly debated. Because empirical studies examining perfectionism and competitive sport performance are missing, the present research investigated how perfectionism affected race performance and what role athletes’ goals played in this relationship in two prospective studies with competitive triathletes (Study 1: N = 112; Study 2: N = 321). Regression analyses showed that perfectionistic personal standards, high performance-approach goals, low performance-avoidance goals, and high personal goals predicted race performance beyond athletes’ performance level. Moreover, the contrast between performance-avoidance and performance-approach goals mediated the relationship between perfectionistic personal standards and performance, whereas personal goal setting mediated the relationship between performance-approach goals and performance. The findings indicate that perfectionistic personal standards do not undermine competitive performance, but are associated with goals that help athletes achieve their best possible performance.

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Michael Bar-Eli, Ilan Hartman and Noa Levy-Kolker

The purpose of the present investigation was to investigate the relationship between goal proximity and performance. Goal setting was used as a motivational technique for enhancing physical performance of adolescents with behavior disorders. Subjects (N = 80) were randomly assigned to one of two goal-setting conditions: (a) long-term goals and (b) short- plus long-term goals. After a 3-week baseline period, subjects were tested on a 1-min sit-up task once a week for 10 weeks. Results indicated that the short- plus long-term group exhibited the greatest increase in performance, although the long-term group also displayed significant improvements. Results are discussed in reference to Locke and Latham’s (1985) approach to goal setting. In addition, several methodological and theoretical aspects are discussed that are particularly relevant to the use of goal setting with physical activity tasks among persons with disabilities such as behavior disorders.

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Zeljka Vidic and Damon Burton

This study assessed the impact of an 8-week goal-setting program on the motivation, confidence and performance of collegiate women tennis players using a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest study design. This goal-setting program used the ‘roadmap’ concept; a unique systematic approach to goal-setting that focused on setting coordinated long-, intermediate-, and short-term goals. Participants consisted of six female Division I collegiate tennis players who completed seven instruments to assess intervention effectiveness. Over the 8-week intervention, all 6 players demonstrated improvements in motivation, confidence and performance measures, particularly on targeted variables. Qualitative results further strengthen support for intervention success, with all six athletes consistently reporting that goal-setting was beneficial in enhancing their motivation, confidence and performance.

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Bart S. Lerner, Andrew C. Ostrow, Michael T. Yura and Edward F. Etzel

The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of goal-setting and imagery programs, as well as a combined goal-setting and imagery training program, on the free-throw performance among female collegiate basketball players over the course of an entire season. A multiple-baseline, single-subject A-B-A design was employed in which participants were randomly assigned to one of three interventions: (a) goal-setting (n = 4), (b) imagery (n = 4), or (c) goal-setting and imagery (n = 4). Free-throw data were collected during practice sessions. Data were examined by way of changes in mean, level, trend, latency, and variability between baseline and intervention, and then between intervention and a second baseline phase. Three participants in the goal-setting program, and one participant in the goal-setting and imagery program, increased their mean free-throw performance from baseline to intervention. However, three participants in the imagery program decreased their mean free-throw performance from baseline to intervention. Goal discrepancy scores also were investigated. A positive correlation was found between participants’ free-throw performance and personal goals.

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Bart S. Lerner and Edwin A. Locke

This study investigated the effects of goal setting, self-efficacy, competition, and personality on the performance of a sit-up task. Prior to testing, participants were administered the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ; Gill & Deeter, 1988). Using a 2 × 2 + 1 design, 60 participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (a) competition, medium goal; (b) competition, high goal; (c) no competition, medium goal; and (d) no competition, high goal. A fifth group from the same population (n = 15) was added and served as the do-best comparison group. The main effect of goal level was borderline significant (p < .059), and this effect was fully mediated by personal goal level and self-efficacy. Also, both the medium and hard goal groups significantly outperformed the do-best group. Competition did not affect performance, personal goals, commitment, or self-efficacy. The SOQ was significantly related to performance, but its effects were fully mediated by personal goals and self-efficacy.

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Tom Sharpe, Hosung So, Hasan Mavi and Seth Brown

Based on sequential behavior analysis (SBA) approaches to clinical practice activities (Sharpe, Lounsbery, & Bahls, 1997) and on results from school-university collaboration approaches to teacher education (Sharpe, Lounsbery, Golden, & Deibler, 1999), this study analyzed the effects of different supervisory personnel and practice-teaching settings on the relative effectiveness of SBA feedback and goal-setting practices. Teaching performances of two matched groups of undergraduates (N = 4) were observed. An A-B-A-C multiple baseline design with a treatment reversal across participants was used. The B-phase consisted of school-based practice teaching, the C-phase consisted of peer-based practice teaching, and the multiple baseline represented the differing times in which the same SBA feedback treatment was administered. Results demonstrated substantial improvement in select teacher and student practices in the school-based setting but a limited effect in the peer-based setting. Participant response data provided additional support for school-based activities. This study endorses a collaborative field-based approach to teacher education and contradicts the literature in nonsupport.

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B. Ann Boyce and Valerie K. Wayda

This study investigated the effect of three goal-setting conditions (self-set, assigned, and control) and two levels of self-motivation (medium and high) on the performance of females participating in 12 university weight training classes (N = 252). The subjects' levels of self-motivation were assessed via Dishman, Ickes, and Morgan's (1980) Self-Motivation Inventory (SMI). The baseline and performance trials were analyzed in a 3 × 2 × 10 (Goal Condition × Motivation Level × Trial) ANCOVA design, with repeated measures on the last factor and baseline as the covariate. A significant interaction of goal-setting groups and trials was found. Planned comparisons indicated that the assigned goal group was statistically superior to the control and to the self-set groups from Trial 3 through retention. In addition, the two goal-setting groups were statistically superior to the control group at the seventh through retention trials. The subjects' SMI levels were not found to moderate the effect of goal setting on performance.

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Valerie K. Wayda, Francine Armenth-Brothers and B. Ann Boyce