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

Pepijn van de Pol, Maria Kavussanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)
447 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Goal orientations
  • Training
  • Sport
  • Improvement
  • Performance
  • Competition

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