Authors: Zhenhao Zeng, Andria Cuello, Jonathan Skelly, Christopher Gigliello, Steven Riveras
P.I. Zhen Hao Zeng, D.P.E. Professor of Sport Pedagogy
Department of Kinesiology, Brooklyn College of
The City University of New York, USA
Zhen Hao (Howard) Zeng is an associate professor of the Department of Kinesiology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, USA. He has a doctoral degree in physical education and sport pedagogy; his fields of study are youth sports, teaching strategies in physical education and sports.
An Investigation of Youth Football Players’ Participation Motivations and Health Related Behaviors
Scientific studies investigating youth athletes have become increasingly broader and deeper since the first Youth Olympic Summer Games in 2010. This study examined the motivation factors that actually inspired the youth football athletes (YFAs) engaged in football practices and competitions and their health-related behaviors. Participants were 223 YFAs (age 16-18) from 10 high schools of New York City, USA. Adapted Questionnaire of Football Athlete’s Motivation and Health Related Behaviors (AQFAMHRB) was employed for data collection. The AQFAMHRB contains 19 questions examining participants’ motivation factors (MFs) and 27 questions investigating health-related behaviors. Data analysis included a 2 Supports (By-parents, By-school) x 2 Goal-Settings (For professional, For non-professional) MANOVA and other suitable methods. The top three scores from the 19 MFs from the AQSAMHRB were: “High technical-content” of Football, “For develop unique skill”, and “For shape body”, all three of these MFs are in the ‘Intrinsic motivation’ category and possess higher impact power on these YFAs’ participation motivation. The 2 x 2 MANOVA revealed that: no significant difference exists in the ‘Supports’ aspect (p >.70); however, significant difference was found in ‘Goal-settings’ (p < .00). Then a follow-up MANOVA determined: 13 out of 19 MFs comparisons in “Goal-settings” showed significant difference (p <. 05) with ‘For professional’ scored higher than ‘For non-professional’. The following MFs possess higher impact on YFAs: ‘to contest winners’, ‘to become a professional player’, ‘to establish prestige’, and ‘to become a coach’. Besides, both intrinsic and extrinsic MFs have significant impact on these YFAs’ motivations. Who “Support” their engagement is not the determinant but what goals the YFAs have set-up for themselves matter. Furthermore, to the 27 health-related behaviors in the AQSAMHRB, frequency and percentage data were summarized and analyzed. Findings from this aspect provided the first hand information about the YFAs’ ‘Eating Habits’, ‘Nutrition Knowledge and Status’, ‘Risk Behaviors’, and ‘Hygiene Behaviors’. These features of the YFAs’ health-related behaviors possess important meanings for improving YFAs’ coaching and management. (more…)