Goal orientations, motivational climate and stress perception in elite junior football players: a comparison of club levels
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Physical Education and Sport. 2018, (1), 107-113. 10.7752/jpes.2018.01014
This study was based on achievement goal theory and stress theory. Its purpose was to describe elite junior football players’ motivation and stress level and to examine how these factors were related to club level, comparing players from level-1 and level-2 clubs. The sample comprised 120 male Norwegian junior football players (mean age = 17.8 yrs, SD = .78 yrs) representing six professional football clubs (three top-level clubs; three league-two clubs). Players’ ratings of their task orientation and mastery climate were higher than their ratings of ego orientation and performance climate. They reported medium levels of all four facets of stress. Level-1 players gave higher ratings to mastery climate than level-2 players (p < .01) whereas the level-2 players reported higher levels of evaluation, performance and development stress (p < .05) compared to the level-1 players. These results suggest that there is more emphasis on creating a mastery environment at level-1 clubs, since level-1 players reported a higher mastery climate. This interpretation is corroborated by the fact that the level-2 players reported higher levels of evaluation, performance and development stress. We recommend that coaches focus on creating a mastery climate. Furthermore, level-2 clubs should be aware that their players feel more stress than those in level-1 clubs and this may be related to concerns about their performance and development as footballers.