Goal Striving and Well-Being in Sport: The Role of Contextual and Personal Motivation

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Newman University
  • | 2 Curtin University
  • | 3 Birmingham University
  • | 4 Concordia University
  • | 5 Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal
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This investigation sought to clarify mixed results in the literature exploring coach behaviors, basic psychological needs, goal motivation, and well- and ill-being. Regional-level team sport athletes (N = 241) completed questionnaires on the aforementioned variables at the beginning of the season. A subsample (n = 70) provided saliva samples to assess physical ill-being. At the end of the season, athletes (n = 98) reported their goal motivation and attainment. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that coach behaviors were related to needs satisfaction and thwarting, which were related to autonomous and controlled goal motives respectively. Autonomous motives were related to well- and ill-being; controlled motives were only related to ill-being. Over time, only end-of-season autonomous goal motives were related to goal attainment. The findings provide an insight into how coaches can facilitate optimum goal striving and well-being in their athletes.

Laura C. Healy is with the Physical Education and Sport Studies Department, Newman University, Bartley Green, Birmingham, UK. Nikos Ntoumanis is with the Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Research Group, School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Jet J.C.S. Veldhuijzen van Zanten is with the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK. Nicola Paine is with the Department of Exercise Science, Concordia University, Montreal, and with Montreal Behavioral Medicine Center, Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal, Montreal, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Laura C. Healy at laura.healy@newman.ac.uk.