Commitment, Enjoyment and Motivation in Young Soccer Competitive Players

By Garcia-Mas, Alexandre; Palou, Pere et al. | The Spanish Journal of Psychology, July 1, 2010 | Go to article overview
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Commitment, Enjoyment and Motivation in Young Soccer Competitive Players


Garcia-Mas, Alexandre, Palou, Pere, Gili, Margarita, Ponseti, Xavier, Borras, Pere A., Vidal, Josep, Cruz, Jaume, Torregrosa, Miquel, Villamarín, Francisco, Sousa, Catarina, The Spanish Journal of Psychology


Building upon Deci's and Ryan (1985) Self-determination theory as well as the sportive behavioral correlates of the model of Commitment (Scanlan et al., 1976), this study tries to establish the relationship between motivation and commitment in youth sport. For this purpose 454 young competitive soccer players answered the Sport Motivation Scale (SMS) and the Sport Commitment Questionnaire (SCQ) during the regular season.

The SMS measures the three dimensions of the Motivational continuum (the Amotivation, the Extrinsic Motivation and the Intrinsic Motivation). The SCQ measures the Sportive Commitment and its composing factors such as the Enjoyment, the Alternatives to the sport, and the Social Pressure. Our findings provided a clear pattern of the influence of motivation in sport enjoyment and commitment, outlining the positive contribution of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to enjoyment and commitment. Amotivation, contributes positively to alternatives to sport and negatively to enjoyment and commitment. It should be noted that extrinsic motivation has a higher contribution to enjoyment whereas intrinsic motivation has a higher contribution to commitment.

Keywords: commitment, enjoyment, self-determination, soccer, young players.

Fundamentándose en la teoría de la Autodeterminación (Deci y Ryan, 1985) así como en los correlatos conductuales del modelo de Compromiso (Scanlan et al. 1976), este estudio trata de establecer las relaciones entre motivación y compromiso en jóvenes jugadores de fútbol. Con este propósito 454 jóvenes jugadores de fútbol contestaron la Escala de Motivación Deportiva (SMS) y el Cuestionario de Compromiso Deportivo (SCQ).

El SMS mide las tres dimensiones del continuum motivacional (Amotivación, Motivación extrínseca y motivación intrínseca). El SCQ mide el compromiso deportivo y los factores que lo componen, tales como el disfrute, las alternativas al deporte y la presión social. Nuestros resultados proporcionan un patrón claro acerca de la influencia de la motivación en el compromiso y la diversión en el deporte, subrayando la contribución positiva de la motivación intrínseca y extrínseca en la diversión y el compromiso. La amotivación contribuye positivamente a las alternativas al deporte y negativamente a la diversión y el compromiso. Es de destacar que la motivación extrínseca tiene una contribución mayor a la diversión, mientras que la motivación intrínseca tiene una contribución mayor al compromiso.

Palabras clave: compromiso, disfrute, autodeterminación, fútbol, jóvenes jugadores.

During the whole development of the psychological science, there is a long trail of authors trying to investigate the motives underlying the individual's behavior (Birch & Veroff, 1966; Cattel & Child, 1975; Deci, 1975; McClelland, 1985; Maslow, 1970; Murray, 1938). Embedded with other different applied situations, this interest was also often focused to the classification of the reasons driving people, and more specifically young people, to perform and to maintain physical or sportive activities. In this field, Alderman and Wood (Alderman, 1976 1980; Alderman & Wood, 1976) were the first authors to do systematic research, but it was a study by Gill, Gross and Huddleston (1983) on the design, evaluation and application of a psychometric tool (the Participation Motivation Questionnaire, PMQ) that provided a new perspective about this topic. In fact, the motivational factors obtained with the use of the PMQ are framing yet the topic: self-realization (Garaigordobil, 1999); social status; group and team; health and fitness; energy liberation; situational factors; competence development; friendship; and fun or enjoyment.

The research on motivation brings up that the athletes should be motivated from two main sources, which group the most explicit explanations about their motives. First, they may be motivated intrinsically, that is they do sport activities for pleasure, fun or others self-determined reasons.

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