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Achievement goals and championship performance: Predicting absolute performance and qualification success

By Joachim Stoeber and Rosanna Crombie


Objectives: Research on athletes’ achievement goals has suggested that the contrast between performance approach and performance avoidance goals (performance approach-avoidance contrast) is a significant predictor of sports performance. However, so far only two studies investigating triathletes found that performance approach-avoidance contrast predicted sports performance in competitions. The present study aims to replicate and expand on these findings with a diverse sample of track and field athletes. \ud Design: The study used a prospective correlational design controlling for athletes’ previous performance (personal best). \ud Method: A sample of 161 track and field athletes competing at the 2008 Outdoor Athletic Championships of the British Universities Sports Association completed questionnaires indicating their personal best and their achievement goals before competing in the championships. Two measures of championship performance (absolute performance, qualification success) were obtained from the official records. \ud Results: Results showed that the performance approach-avoidance contrast in athletes’ achievement goals predicted absolute performance and qualification success in the championships beyond what was predicted from athletes’ personal best. \ud Conclusions: The findings corroborate previous findings that, when athletes pursue performance goals, the relative strength of athletes’ motivational orientation (approach vs. avoidance) is critical for performance and competitive success

Topics: BF
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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