Motivation in Sport

An Investigation of Motivation in Co-Dependent Team Sport

Student - Patrick Healy

Supervisors - Olivia Hurley and Marion Palmer

Motivation is a signifcant part of both a manager’s, and individual athlete’s, preparation for sport. This research examined the importance of motivation and its effect on athletes’ anxiety and self-confidence, by completing three separate studies.

Study One examined the interaction between Perceived Motivational Climate (PMC) and Achievement Goal Orientation (AGO). While research has been completed in the past which examined these two elements in isolation, little research examines the interaction of the two. The research focused on athletes in co-dependent team sports and specifically examined the effects on somatic and cognitive anxiety, in addition to self-confidence. Participants consisted of individuals between the ages of 18 and 40 years old.

Study Two attempted to examine the potential effect of Social Media, in particular Twitter, as a social variable that could affect a team’s motivational climate. A number of previous studies have examined social variables, and how they could effect a team’s motivational climate. In the past research was conducted to examine the effect peers or parents, however little has been done to examine the effect of social media, despite its growing importance in people’s social lives. The vast majority of research on social media has concentrated instead on cyberbullying. The study examined the use of Twitter in seventeen clubs, who play co-dependent team sport, over a set period of time.

Study Three involved interviews with managers from the three most popular co-dependant team sports in Ireland (i.e. GAA, Football and Rugby). Managers were asked their opinions on the variables examined in the previous two studies. This method was chosen to allow for the collection of richer data than was possible the previous two studies. It allowed the researcher to better examine motivational climate and the potential impact of social media on teams in a competitive sport setting.

These three studies unearthed a number of interesting findings. For more information on the findings of this research please feel free to contact the author.

Conference: Psychology Society of Ireland Congress (November 2012)
Title: “The Importance of Motivation to Athletes’ Self-confidence and Anxiety.”

Conference: 35th Annual Congress for Psychology Student in Ireland (April 2013)
Title Presentation One: “The Importance of Motivation in Co-dependent Team Sports”
Title Presentation Two: “The Effect of Social Media on a Teams’ Climate”

Conference: Psychology Society of Ireland Congress (November 2013)
Title: “The Effect of Social Media on a co-dependent teams

The research was carried out by Patrick Healy, a graduate from the Psychology Applied to Information Technology degree in IADT, Dun Laoghaire. Patrick acted as the Chairperson for both the IADT Psychological society and the 35th Annual Congress for Psychology Students in Ireland which was held in IADT. He is also an active member of the Psychology Society of Ireland (PSI) sitting on the Communications Sub Group and ScoPE. In addition he is the current Public Relations Officer for the Division of Sport Exercise and Performance Psychology.

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