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Jessica J. McCarthy

Nicholls’ achievement goal theory suggests that a task-oriented individual sets goals based on a desire to master particular skills or tasks (Nicholls, 1984, 1989), thus promoting intrinsic motivation (Duda, Chi, Newton, & Walling, 1995). An ego-oriented individual evaluates one’s own performance against the performance of others with comparable skill sets, basing success on outperforming the opponent (Nicholls, 1984, 1989), resulting in low intrinsic motivation. Cognitive evaluation theory, embraced within self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991), suggests that an event that satisfies an inherent need for competence and autonomy leads to increased intrinsic motivation (Standage, Duda, & Pensgaard, 2005). Similarly, Brown and Ryan (2003) found that trait-mindfulness predicted more autonomous activity in day-to-day life and lower intensity and frequency of negative affect. It was therefore hypothesized that in a population of collegiate athletes, a relationship between mindfulness and goal orientation would exist; athletes higher in task-orientation would be more mindful than athletes higher in ego-orientation. Results indicate that a relationship does in fact exist between the Acting with Awareness subscale of the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS; Baer, Smith, & Allen, 2004) and task-orientation, in that as level of awareness increases, the level of task-orientation also increases. Level of awareness also predicted level of task orientation in athletes. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

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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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Bonny Rockette-Wagner, Rachel G. Miller, Yvonne L. Eaglehouse, Vincent C. Arena, M. Kaye Kramer, and Andrea M. Kriska

toward MVPA goal achievement). 10 Once acknowledged, it can be understood that time spent in light activity could be converted to higher intensity MVPA (while sedentary behavior remains unchanged) and, likewise, decreases in sedentary behaviors could result in increases in light-intensity activity, in

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John Lyle

: confusion over terminology, overly simplistic reliance on goal achievement, and the importance of context. Horn ( 2008 ) collates contributory behaviors, with an emphasis on the psychosocial growth and development of athletes. Côté and Gilbert ( 2009 ) provide a definition, which has become a “root source

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John H. Kerr and Susan Houge Mackenzie

The main objective was to further unravel the experience of motivation in an expert male skydiver by investigating: (1) his general experience of motivation and perception of the dangers of skydiving; (2) his pursuit of new challenges and learning new skills as factors in maintaining motivation; (3) evidence of a mastery-based confidence frame in his motivational experience. This was a unique case study informed by reversal theory. The participant’s perception of skydiving was that it was not a risky or dangerous activity and a primary motive for his involvement in skydiving was personal goal achievement. Maintaining control and mastery during skydiving was a key motivational element during his long career and pursuing new challenges and learning new skills was found to be important for his continued participation. Data indicated that his confidence frame was based on a telic-mastery state combination, which challenged previous reversal theory research findings and constructs.

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Andrew G. Wood, Jamie B. Barker, and Martin J. Turner

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT; Ellis, 1957) is a psychotherapeutic approach receiving increasing interest within sport. REBT is focused on identifying, disputing, and replacing irrational beliefs (IBs) with rational beliefs (RBs) to promote emotional well-being and goal achievement. This study provides a detailed case outlining the application and effect of seven one-to-one REBT sessions with an elite level archer who was experiencing performance-related anxiety, before and during competition. The case also offers an insight into common misconceptions, challenges, and guidance for those who may consider applying REBT within their practice. Data revealed meaningful short and long-term (6-months) reductions in IBs and improvements in RBs, self-efficacy, perception of control and archery performance. The case supports the effective application of REBT as an intervention with athletic performers, promoting lasting changes in an athlete’s ability to manage their cognitions, emotions and behaviors in the pursuit of performance excellence.

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Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage, Fiona B. Gillison, and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Goals are central to exercise motivation, although not all goals (e.g., health vs. appearance goals) are equally psychologically or behaviorally adaptive. Within goal content theory (Vansteenkiste, Niemiec, & Soenens, 2010), goals are adaptive to the extent to which they satisfy psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. However, little is known about what exercisers pursuing different goals are feeling, doing, thinking, and paying attention to that may help to explain the association between goal contents and need satisfaction. Using semistructured interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis, we explored experiences of exercise among 11 adult exercisers who reported pursuing either predominantly intrinsic or extrinsic goals. Four themes emerged: (a) observation of others and resulting emotions, (b) goal expectations and time perspective, (c) markers of progress and (d) reactions to (lack of) goal achievement. Intrinsic and extrinsic goal pursuers reported divergent experiences within these four domains. The findings illuminate potential mechanisms by which different goals may influence psychological and behavioral outcomes in the exercise context.

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Kim Poag and Edward McAuley

Whereas the success of goal setting is well documented in the industrial-organizational literature (Locke & Latham, 1990), the empirical efforts to determine its effectiveness in sport settings have met with minimal success, and no studies exist that document the role played by goals in successful adherence to exercise regimens. We examined the relationships among goals, efficacy, and exercise behavior in the context of community conditioning classes. Female participants' goal efficacy was predictive of perceived goal achievement at the end of the program, and exercise self-efficacy was significantly related to subsequent intensity but not frequency of exercise participation. Moreover, a proposed interaction between exercise importance and self-efficacy failed to account for further variation in physical activity participation. The results are discussed in terms of the physical activity history of the sample and the roles played by goals and efficacy at diverse stages of the exercise process.

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E.V. Biryukova and B. Bril

We analyzed the relationship between goal achievement and execution variability in craftsmen who have acquired the highest “ultimate” skills of stone knapping. The goal of a knapping movement is defined as the vector of the final velocity of a hammer, crucial for detaching a flake and, consequently, for the shape of the final product. The execution of the movement is defined by the kinematic pattern of the arm (i.e., by the coordination between the joint angles corresponding to the seven arm degrees of freedom). The results show that (a) the direction of final velocity is very stable for all craftsmen, whereas the amount of kinetic energy transmitted to the stone was craftsman specific and (b) the kinematic pattern of the arm was strongly individual and was a reliable sign of the level of skill—the highest level was characterized by the highest flexibility of movement kinematics. We stress the importance of conducting the experiment in natural conditions for better understanding of the relationship among the purpose (the final shape of the stone), the goal, and the execution of the movement.

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Thelma S. Horn, Susan D. Glenn, and Amy B. Wentzell

This study was conducted to test whether there are age and gender differences in the criteria that high school athletes use to evaluate their ability in sport contexts. To test this issue, 435 high school athletes from a variety of sports were administered the Sport Competence information Questionnaire which provides a measure of preference for 10 competence information sources. A 2 × 2 (Gender × Age Level) MANOVA revealed that older adolescents were more apt to use self-comparison/internal information, goal achievement, and sport attraction/enjoyment to judge their sport ability while younger athletes were more dependent on the evaluation of peers. In addition, females scored higher than males on the use of self-comparison/internal information and on evaluative feedback from significant others. In contrast, males scored higher on the use of competitive outcomes and speed/ease of learning to evaluate personal sport competence. The results indicate that high school athletes do vary in the sources of information they use to judge their sport competence, and that gender and age can account for a significant amount of that variation.