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Achievement goals and motivational responses in tennis: Does the context matter?

van de Pol, Pepijn K.C. and Kavussanu, Maria (2011) Achievement goals and motivational responses in tennis: Does the context matter? Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12 (2). p. 176. ISSN 1469-0292

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URL of Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.09.005

Identification Number/DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.09.005

Objectives: This study examined: (a) whether athletes’ goal orientations differ across training and competition; (b) whether goal orientations predict effort, enjoyment, and psychological skill use differently in training and competition; and (c) whether goal orientations predict perceived improvement in training and perceived performance in competition.
Method: Participants were 116 competitive tennis players (mean age = 19.99, SD = 5.82), who completed questionnaires measuring goal orientations, effort, enjoyment, and psychological skill use in training and competition, perceived improvement in training, and perceived performance in competition.
Results: Dependent t-tests revealed that athletes reported higher task orientation in training than in competition and higher ego orientation in competition than in training, while Pearson product-moment correlations revealed a high cross-contextual consistency for both task and ego goal orientations between training and competition. Regression analyses indicated that task orientation predicted positively effort, enjoyment, self-talk, and goal setting in both contexts, perceived improvement in training, and perceived performance in competition. An interaction effect also emerged whereby ego orientation predicted positively effort in competition only when task orientation was low or average.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that goal orientations may differ between training and competition; task orientation is the goal that should be promoted in both contexts; and the context may affect the relationship between goal orientations and effort, enjoyment, and goal setting.

Type of Work:Article
Date:March 2011 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Subjects:BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Elsevier B.V.
ID Code:788
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