GOAL ORIENTATION PROFILES AMONG YOUNG SOCCER PLAYERS’ IN RELATION TO THEIR USE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS
To further investigate athletes’ goal orientations in relation to their use of psychological skills, the present study examined the following objectives: 1) the goal orientations of young Swedish soccer players, (2) their use of psychological skills in both practice and competition and (3) the relationship between their goal orientations and use of psychological skills. Participants were 171 young soccer players from five Swedish high schools. The Perceptions of Success Questionnaire and the Test of Performance Strategies were administered to meet the objectives. Results showed no significant difference between athletes’ task (3.40 ± 1.32; M ± SD) and ego (3.32 ± 1.18) goal orientations. Results further revealed that athletes used more psychological skills in association with competition (3.21 ± .67) than in practice (2.74 ± .63). Moreover, results showed that athletes low in ego orientation used more psychological skills (3.83 ± .67) in practice than athletes high in ego (2.68 ± .60). A recommendation for coaches is to emphasize the importance of using PST in relation to practice in order to maximize athletes’ performances. Results have been discussed in relation to previous research of achievement motivation and athletes’ use of psychological skills.
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