Sarmento, Hugo, Peralta, Miguel, Harper, Liam D. and Marques, Adilson (2018) Achievement goals and self-determination in adult football players: a cluster analysis. Kinesiology. ISSN 1331-1441

To better understand the relationship between aspects of motivation and performance level of adult football players, this study aimed to identify differences in motivation in different motivational profiles created through hierarchical cluster analysis. The participants consisted of 304 adult football players (90 professionals, 144 semi-professionals, 70 amateurs, age: 25.4 ± 4.6 y). Participants completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sports Questionnaire and the Self-Regulation Questionnaire. Based on the constructs of the questionnaires cluster analyses were performed. Chi-square was used to determine any relationships between players and clusters. Four different clusters were identified. There was no typical motivational profile for football players from different competitive levels. However, the differences in all four clusters represented specific characteristics in football players from the different levels of competition most represented in each cluster. Cluster 1, which was the most adaptive, was not related to competition level. On the other hand, professional athletes were significantly less represented in the least adaptive motivational profile (Cluster 4). The results highlight the complex relationship between competition and sporting motivation. Identifying the motivational profile characteristics of football players who can reach higher competitive levels presents itself as a future research opportunity.

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