Does Context, Practice or Competition affect Female Athletes' Achievement Goal Dominance, Goal Pursuit, Burnout and Motivation?

Research paper by Javier J Fernández-Rio, Jose A JA Cecchini, Antonio A Méndez-Giménez

Indexed on: 15 Nov '17Published on: 15 Nov '17Published in: Journal of human kinetics


The goal of this study was to assess the effects of two different achievement sport contexts, practice and competition, on the motivational profile of professional/semi-professional athletes. Forty-eight Spanish national/international-level female athletes (basketball = 18; handball = 12; soccer = 11; volleyball = 7), mean age 25.14 ± 3.43 years, agreed to participate in the study. They completed a questionnaire, prior and after training and competition, to assess achievement goals, achievement goal dominance, goal pursuit, motivational climate, motivation, burnout and perceived recovery-exertion. Data analyses revealed that, both in practice and competition, these team-sport athletes overwhelmingly showed a strong mastery-approach achievement goal in dominance as well as in pursuit. A significant finding was that this group of national/international-level, professional/semi-professional athletes not only adopted a mastery-approach achievement goal, but they also actively pursued it. It is also remarkable that this profile remained stable at post-tests, even after a painful defeat in competition, which produced a significant negative effect on the athletes' burnout (emotional and physical exhaustion and devaluation of sport participation) and self-determined motivation. As expected, the difference between total recovery and perceived exertion significantly increased after practice and competition. National/international-level team-sport professional/semi-professional female athletes held and pursue stable mastery-approach goal dominance.