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Athletes' Goal Setting and Motivation in Sport


Bachelor of Physical Education
Digos City

Sundae Lapea
Laiza Marie Pantilag
Lendy Mae Sucayre


Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating
yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. Top-level athletes, successful businesspeople and achievers in all fields all set goals. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and
short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your
time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life (Manktelow et al.,
Goal setting is also emphasized in the field of sport psychology. Research found that
people who use goal setting tend to be more motivated and better adhere to their exercise
routine( Brookfield & Wilson, 2009). In research conducted in Poland, one of the most common
psychological strategies is goal setting. Nowadays it is hard to imagine players who do not use
such strategies. Football club, the result showed that the player end difficulty in making their
individual goal setting, which could indicate a lack of organization, knowledge or proficiency in
the area (Larsen, C.H.,& Engell, C. 2013). In the study conducted in United State, a
conditionally specialist Jason Brader, likes the idea of using goals to create a plan in football and
basketball because it means that the athlete does not waste time through ineffective practice and
through the harmful effect of overtraining (Locken, M.A 2007). Another research conducted in
United State, multiple regression analysis revealed that social responsibility goals were
significant predictors of students' persistence/effort toward their sport training, demonstrating
that students had multiple goals for their sport success (Guan, J., et al., 2013). Research
conducted in Taiwan the main purpose was to obtain a better understanding of goal setting in

order to understand how to motivate employees in high-tech industry effectively, bring about
new developments in team building, and achieve organizational commitment (Brookfield, J., &
Liu, R. 2001). In Africa, athletes need strategies to focus their efforts and regulate their behavior
during training and competition to perform their best goal setting is often viewed as one of the
most effective means to motivate and direct athletic behavior (Burton et al., 2001; Gould; 2001).
In the Philippines, in order to gain prestige and acknowledgement and remarkable names,
these athletes need to obtain clear goals to maintain an utmost motivation of a certain groups,
institution and individual that will give them more strength and upgrade their capabilities and
skill towards joining such competitions (NCAA, 1998). In Cagayan de Oro, the goal setting and
motivation in sport relies solely, on something or someone extend to the athletes should be noted.
An athletes goals need to be self-governed otherwise the motivation to take the steps to achieve
those goals maybe lacking (Pirie Enzo, 2007). In Davao City, specifically in Ateneo de Davao
University when athletes set goals they are highly motivated and they are often really enjoying
their training and are really keen to do their sessions they set goals for higher task achievement,
high task persistency, high effort and high level of motivation in practice and game (Abarra, A.T.
In Cor Jesu College,

This study tends to know if goal setting can help athletes to motivate in terms of their
practices especially to their performance. Furthermore, the researchers are encourage to

determined if goal setting and motivation in sports can really help athletes to achieved what they
set goals.

Theoretical and Conceptual Framework

This study is supported by the Self- determination Theory and Goal setting Theory.
According to Deci and Richard M. Ryan (1985), the self-determination theory is a macro theory
of human motivation and personality, concerning people's inherent growth tendencies and their
innate psychological needs. It is concerned with the motivation behind the choices that people
make without any external influence and interference. Self-determination theory focuses on the
degree to which an individual behavior is self-determined. In this study we used selfdetermination theory if the athletes are motivated int heir particular field of sport because
The Goal setting Theory by Locke and Lathan (2002) provide a well-developed goalsetting theory of motivation. This theory is a powerful way of motivating people, and of
motivating yourself .According to the theory, people who have more difficult but attainable goals
perform better than those who have less difficult goals. In fact, goal setting theory is generally
accepted as among the most valid and useful motivation theories in industrial and organizational
psychology, human resource management, and organizational behavior.

This section shows the relationship of the independent variable and the dependent

Independent Variable

Athletes' Goal
Frequency of goal
setting strategy
Effectiveness of
goal setting

Dependent Variable


Figure1. Conceptual Framework of the study

Figure1 shows a conceptual framework of the study the independent variable is the Athletes
Goal Setting while the dependent variable is motivation . Goal setting towards motivation lead
the athletes achieve and improve their optimum performance.

Statement of the Problem

The study aims to determine the relationship between goal setting and motivation of the
1. What is their level of motivation of College varsity players?
2. What is their athletes goal setting ?
3. Is their a significant relationship between goal setting and motivation of varsity players?

There is no significant relationship between athletes goal setting and motivation in sport.
Significance of the study
The findings of this study will benefit the following:
Administrators. This study would help the school administrators to know the goal setting of an
athletes and how motivated they are to achieve what they set goals.
Coaches. The result of this study would give importance to the coaches on how they handle
athletes in terms of proper setting of goals that can motivate ones performance of athletes.
Parents. The findings of this study would serve as a guide for the parents to encourage their
children to do well and to have a moral support to what their children wants to achieve.
Athletes. The result of this study would aid the athletes to improve their performance by setting
of goals as their motivation.
Future Researcher. The findings of this study would provide an avenue to the future researcher
to conduct an in-depth study on how goal setting can motivate athletes.
Definition of terms
The following terms were defined for better understanding of the study:
Goal Setting is the process of deciding what you want to accomplish and devising a plan to
achieve the result you desire. Athletes use goal setting frequently to help improve their sport

performance and to have a better understanding of goal setting in sport.

Frequency of goal setting strategy usage

Motivation is the ability to initiate and persist at a task. Athletes use sport motivation tends to
engage in an activity purely, enjoyable or interestingly that can boost to their performance. When
someone is motivated they participates something due to an external outcome.

Scope and Limitation

This study determined the relationship of athletes goal setting and motivation. It only
limited to the varsity player enrolled in Cor Jesu College, College Department S.Y 2015-2016.

Review of Related Literature

This chapter provides related literature and studies that are relevant to the study. The first
part presents about the benefits of goal settings in the life of an athletes. And the second part cite
about the understanding of sport motivation. And also the process of goal that can affect the
motivation of an athletes.
Goal Setting in Sport
Goal setting is a very popular motivational technique for improving performance and
completing tasks both in life and in sports (Weinberg, Stitcher, & Richardson, (1994). Goal
setting has many benefits in life and in sport. Goals have motivated people to complete tasks and
improve in aspects of life for years; however, the idea of psychological influences in sport hasnt
been researched much until recent years. Goal setting in sport began to see interest and research
began to be on this topic around forty years ago. The two men primarily known for beginning the
research of goal setting in sport and establishing theories on it are Edwin Locke and Gary
Latham (Heider, 1976; Johnson et al., 2011; Stout, 1999). This study further expands their
knowledge of goal setting in athletics.
There are many different aspects of goals that influence how successful they are.
According to Tod and McGuigan, (2001) the difficulty, specificity, and proximity of goals are
key components of a successful goal. It is predicted that goals that are specific and moderately
vague and too easy. Goals should have clear target dates, regardless of whether they are short or
long term, to be effective (Sullivan & Strode, 2010). Goals must also be measurable. According
to Tod and McGuigan, (2001) goals can be categorized into outcome goals, performance goals,
and process goals. It is predicted that process goals will result in greater improvements in
performance when compared to outcome goals because they are in the athletes control.

Other factors influencing goal setting are factors such as gender, athletic maturity, and the sport
participated in (Stout, 1999; Weinberg, 1982). Different types of goals are involved in team
sports compared to individual sports, and women and men may look at the goal-setting process
Maltbey (2001) states that objective goals can be broken down into outcome,
performance, and process goals. Outcome goals are centered on beating others and their
achievement is often outside of the athletes control. These goals can be beneficial, but they
should be paired with performance and process goals. Achieving performance and process goals
will lead to the accomplishment of outcomegoals (Vidic & Burton, 2010). Performance goals
focus on improvements in the actual performance while competing (Sullivan & Strode, 210; Tod
& McGuigan, 2001). Both of these types of goals can be controlled by the athlete. These goals
increase motivation more compared to outcome goals by allowing more consistent success to be
seen. They also help to improve performance by pointing out areas needing improvement.
Another key component of an effective goal is its relevance to the athlete. The coach
should not set a goal and tell the athlete to achieve it without the athlete providing input. The
athletes input is necessary to believing in the goal and thus the success of the goal (Sullivan &
Strode, 2010). Maltbey (2001) adds that since the athlete knows what they want to achieve, they
need to be involved in the setting of the goal for it to be relevant. Vidic and Burton (2010)
explain that coaches may need to be involved initially to implement the goal so they can support
the athlete and provide direction, but as athletes begin setting and accomplishing goals they learn
the goal setting process and become more independent.

Goal proximity deals with the time frame of goals and consists of short-term and longterm goals. Long-term goals deal with the future and comprise some difficult, end goal. Tod and
McGuigan (2001) found these goals important in that they provide purpose and direction, but
Stout (1999) adds that alone long-term goals are likely too far in the future to hold the athletes
focus and effort. Short-term goals deal with the near future and are easier to achieve and can be
used as stepping stones. They help to break up a long-term goal into smaller chunks and the
achievement of these goals helps the athlete to stay encouraged (Tod & McGuigan, 2001). A
combination of short-term goals en route to a long-term goal is the best way of goal setting.
However, there are two indicators in Goal Setting in Sport which is the Section A.
Frequency of goal setting strategy usage and Section B. Effectiveness of goal setting strategies.
In Section A. it is the rate on how they often used their goal setting strategy to improve their
performance to achieve their goals, to accomplish their practices, and accomplish their
competitions in their particular sport. In Section B. it is the effectiveness on how strategy of goal
setting helps develop the athletes on how long-term goals and short-term goals develop the
performance of the athletes in their particular sport.

Sport Motivation
According to Deci and Ryan (2000), to understand motivation one needs to consider the
innate psychological needs of the human being: autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Autonomy is the need to perceive behaviours and thoughts as self-chosen. It should be noted that
autonomy does not refer to detachment, selfishness, or complete independence, but instead it is
the feeling of volition that can accompany any act, whether dependent or independent,
collectivist or individualistic (Ryan & Deci, 2000a). The second need is competence, or the

need to perceive behaviours as effective. The final need is relatedness, the need to perceive that
we are successfully connected to those individuals around us (Hollembeak & Amorose, 2005).
Because we consider these needs to be innate rather than learned, they drive motivational
theories (Deci & Ryan, 2000).
At their best, humans are self-motivated, curious, and inspired to master new things.
These are some positives aspects of human nature. However, in adverse surroundings and
situations, the human spirit can be diminished or crushed because of social orientation or
responsibility inadequacies (Ryan & Deci, 2000b). This is why it is important to provide the best
environment and feedback possible to facilitate positive growth and well-being in all individuals.
Because of the benefits of physical activity, motivation is a critical topic in the realm of physical
education. Investigating motivation includes the search for the underlying process that causes
individuals to begin an activity and then to sustain their participation in it (Frederick & Ryan,
1995). Countless individuals are involved each day in different sports and physical activities,
which can result in physical and psychological well-being (Markland, 1999). Being physically
active encourages leading a healthy lifestyle. According to the World Health Organization, the
term healthy implies a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being not merely the
absence of disease (WHO, 1997). However, in some cases, negative physical and psychological
consequences can be caused by sport participation. The climate or setting that an individual is in
can greatly help or hinder their motivational feelings both toward that activity and in life in
general (Reinboth & Duda, 2006). Motivational testing often focuses on athletes because of the
influence that they have on society. Pain, rather than pleasure, often dictates their motivation.
They need to be thinner or more muscular or do something different in order to gain the right
body type (Reinboth, Duda, & Ntoumanis, 2004). Athletes are always in the spotlight; people

Performance, Setting & Motivation 35 watch and critique their every move, and these pressures
can, at times, be quite overwhelming. Researchers have questioned if these influences are a
positive source of motivation that produce well-balanced athletes. Their research surrounding
this question of motivation has been examined in the theoretical framework of self-determination
theory (SDT).
According to self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985; 2002) motivational
processes are best understood as continuum of internalization ranging from volitional to highly
controlling forms of regulation (Ryan and Deci, 2000). At one end, non-self-determined
regulations in the form of EM operate to control behaviour while, at the other extreme, selfdetermined intrinsic motive underpin behaviour. These motives vary in the degree to which they
reflect self-determined regulation of the behaviour as they span the continuum between
motivation and IM. Four sources of EM have been noted in the sports motivation literature and
include: external regulation, introjected regulation, identified regulation, and integrated
regulation (Vallerrand & Rousseau, 2001). Externally regulated behaviours reflect the list selfdetermined form of EM whereby behaviour is perceived to be controlled by outside sources. The
next point along the continuum is introjected regulation, which refers to behaviour that is to
enforced through internal pressures such as guilt or anxiety that coerce participation rather than
volitionally supporting involvement. Identified and integrated regulations are the most selfdetermined of EM which entail participating in an activity autonomously due to the importance
of the outcomes steaming from the behaviour or because the activity itself is coherent with other
aspects of the self and their by reflects the persons identity( Deci & Ryan, 2002).
Setting goals increases motivation. Goals and motivation are so intertwined they are very
incorporate to each other to achieve goals especially in sports. And also setting goals increases

achievements and motivation produce well-balanced athletes because they have full selfdetermination by the help of setting goals to achieve the set of goals to improve their practices
and also accomplishing competitions.

In this chapter, the research method used and the procedures in the conduct of the study
are described. It started by discussing the design used for research and followed by describing

the respondents involved in the study. Next is the discussion on the sampling procedures,
measure/research instrument and data analysis.
Research Design
This study used Descriptive-Correlation research design which, according to Calderon
(2000), involved description, recording description, recording, analysis and interpretation of
condition between non manipulative variables. This study describes respondents motivation
during their competition and describes their goal settings. The data collection tool used was a
questionnaire entitled Sport Motivation and Goal setting in Sport. This study is concerned with
the athletes motivation and how they set their goals in sport. In addition, this study will also
measure the effectiveness of motivation to their performance.
Respondents & Setting
The participants of this study will be the athletes of Cor Jesu College from College
Department for S.Y 2016-2017.
Sampling Procedure
The sampling procedure is done by using quota sampling by taking 50% or more of the
total population of varsity players in Cor Jesu College from College Department.
Measure/Research Instrument
In this study, two Standardized questionnaires will be utilized to gather the data. The two
instruments used were authored by Pelletier (2015). The first questionnaire is Goal Setting
in Sport and the second one is Sport Motivation

In the process of gathering data, the following procedures are followed.
1. A letter of permission, requesting to conduct a study in the school is given to the office of
Department of Student Services Center and to the Sport Administrator.
2. Assistance from the director of the Student Services Center and to the Sport
Administrator will be sought to identify the population of the athletes.
3. Ask permission to the coaches of different sport for conducting the study that will involve
the athletes in Cor Jesu College.
4. Get the participation of an athlete in conducting this study.
Data Analysis
Problem number 1 & 2, mean score will be utilized and in sub-problem number 3,
regression analysis will be used.

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