|Abstract or Summary
- Current research on sport motivation has focused primarily on
goal perspective approaches in an attempt to understand behavior in
achievement situations (Ames, 1984; Nicholls, 1984). According to
Nicholls' (1984) theory, the achievement goal orientation an
individual develops may be influenced by both individual differences
and situational factors.
Relative to situational factors, the team motivational climate
may promote either a task-involved or an ego-involved orientation
dependent upon which goal orientation is emphasized by the coach.
In addition, Ames (1992a) argued that environmental structures
influence the motivational climate which ultimately impact the
athlete's achievement orientation. Educational research (Epstein,
1988) has identified specific environmental structures (TARGET
structures) as being salient to the development of a mastery
Little research has been conducted on athletes' perceptions of
their coaches' behavior, in regard to specific environmental
structures, and how this may ultimately influence athletes'
achievement goal orientation. Thus, the purpose of this study was to
examine the relationship among TARGET structures, team
motivational climate, and achievement goal orientation.
The subjects consisted of 186 high school softball players and 171 high school baseball players, ranging in age from 14 to 18 years. The TEOSQ, PMCSQ, and TARGET questionnaires were administered to subjects at the beginning of a sport practice.
LISREL8, a structural equation modeling program, was the statistical analysis employed. Results indicated that a positive linear relationship existed, linking task and reward/evaluation components of the TARGET structures to mastery climate to task orientation. These two structures may be the most salient structures within a sport setting. This finding suggests there is a positive association between coaches' promotion and employment of task-involved goals in their practices and athletes' perception of a mastery-oriented team motivational climate. Direct relationships linking three TARGET structures to performance climate to ego orientation were also reported. Grouping and authority components
of the TARGET structures were found to have a significant inverse relationship with performance climate, while task structure and performance climate were positively related. Additionally, the results confirmed that there was a significant positive relationship between mastery climate and task orientation and between performance climate and ego orientation.