Motivation and athlete engagement: A cross-sectional study in youth ice hockey players
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Motivation in youth athletes is believed to lead to higher level of engagement and long lasting sport participation (Chatzisarantis, Hagger, Biddle, Smith & Wang, 2003; Lonsdale, Hodge & Raedeke, 2007). Based on the Self-determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan; 1985; 2000), the current study adopted Vallerand´s (1997) model of the assumed sequential relationship between perceived autonomy support, thwarting and satisfaction of basic psychological needs, self-determined motivation and athlete engagement. The hypothesized meditational role of self-determined motivation was also studied. Results from a cross-sectional sample of 242 youth ice hockey players offered support for the proposed model, thus perceived autonomy support was indirect supported. Partially mediation was confirmed for self-determined motivation in the link between psychological need satisfaction and athlete engagement. These findings underscore the importance of need satisfaction (particularly competence and autonomy) in predicting enduring positive sport experiences. Furthermore, current findings suggest important differences in perceived intrinsic motivation and core athlete engagement dimensions in practitioners respectively amount of training hours per week. This suggests that ice hockey players express differences in their psychological adaption, which ultimately, may moderate how they invest time in their ice hockey career, and therefore affects their engagement towards ice hockey. Practical recommendations for coaches are offered for the adoption of need-supportive training structures that promote support for the basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness.
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2013