Motivation in Sport: The Relevance of Competence and Achievement Goals

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The relevance of competence to performance and participation in the athletic realm is evident to even the most casual observer of or partaker in sport. Anyone who has engaged in a sport contest, watched a sport competition, coached someone learning a new physical skill or aspect of technique, and/or has decided whether to join, stay with, or drop out of sport has clearly witnessed the significant of competence to sport behaviors. Indeed, a perusal of the sport psychology literature readily indicates that ability, in particular, perceptions of that ability, is central to task execution (e.g., Weinberg, Gould, Tukelson, & Jackson, 1981) and engagement (e.g., Roberts, Kleiber, & Duda, 1981) or disengagement (e.g., Burton & Marterns, 1981) in sport settings. An examination of this literature also reveals that various theoretical models have laid the basis for research on the antecedents and consequences of perceived sport-related competence. A considerable number of studies have been grounded in Bandura’s (1977, 1986) social cognitive theory and have centered on judgements regarding task-specific competencies or perceptions of self-efficacy (see Feltz, 1992; Feltz & Lirgg, 2001). Research in youth sport settings (e.g. Babkes & Weiss, 1999; Horn, Glenn, & Wentzel, 1993; Roberts et al. 1981), concerned primarily with developmental and socialization influences on perceived competence, has been based on Hartner’s competence motivation framework (Hartner, 1978, 1981). Eccles’s expectancy-value model (Eccles, Jacobs, & Harold, 1990; Eccles & Wigfield, 1995) has been tested in the sport domain as well (e.g., Brustad, 1996; Eccles & Harold, 1991), providing greater awareness of the social factors impacting gender differences in sport competence and interest
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Competence and Motivation
EditorsA J Elliot, C S Dweck
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherGuildford Press
ISBN (Print)1-59385-13-5
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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