Autonomy support and motivational responses across training and competition in individual and team sports

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This study examined: (a) whether athletes’ (N = 348) perceived autonomy support (i.e., showing interest in athletes’ input and praising autonomous behavior) differs across contexts (training vs. competition) and sport types (individual vs. team sports), and (b) whether the relationships between autonomy support and effort, enjoyment, and anxiety are affected by context and sport type. Perceived autonomy support did not vary across contexts, but interest in athletes’ input was higher in individual than in team sports. Praise for autonomous behavior was associated positively with effort only when interest in input was high, and this effect was stronger in training than in competition. Finally, praise for autonomous behavior was also positively related to enjoyment in training, while interest in input was positively associated with anxiety in individual sports.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-710
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2015