Mindfulness Meditation Intervention with Male Collegiate Soccer Players: Effect on Stress and Various Aspects of Life

Authors: Zeljka Vidic, Mark St. Martin, Richard Oxhandler

Corresponding Author:
Zeljka Vidic, Ph.D.
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5426

Zeljka Vidic is an Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator for the M.A. Coaching Sport Performance and the Undergraduate Coaching Minor at Western Michigan University

Mindfulness Meditation Intervention with Male Collegiate Soccer Players: Effect on Stress and Various Aspects of Life

Collegiate athletes face a unique set of challenges in an environment that demands their best in the athletic, academic, and personal arenas of their lives. In recent years, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has increased its attention towards the enhancement of collegiate athletes’ overall mental health with the goal of helping athletes cope more effectively on- and off-the court. One technique that has gained attention in the sport setting due to its all-around beneficial effects on health and well-being and athletic performance is the practice of mindfulness. This mixed-method study investigated the effects of a 6-session mindfulness meditation intervention on a United States NCAA Division III men’s soccer team’s (n=18; ages 18-22) stress levels and various aspects of their lives. Qualitative results revealed that athletes had overall positive perceptions of the mindfulness meditation intervention across various aspects of their lives in the form of: enhanced focus, increased calmness, improved awareness, and being more present-oriented. Quantitative results demonstrated overall decreases in stress over the course of intervention, however these findings did not reach statistical significance. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that mindfulness meditation training has the potential to be an effective approach to assisting athletes derive positive benefits on- and off-the court.

2018-04-23T13:08:09-05:00May 10th, 2018|Research, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Mindfulness Meditation Intervention with Male Collegiate Soccer Players: Effect on Stress and Various Aspects of Life

An Examination of the Coincidence Anticipation Performance of Soccer Players according to their Playing Positions and Different Stimulus Speeds

Authors: Ozcan Saygin (1), Kemal Goral (2), Halil Ibrahim Ceylan* (3), Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Turkey.

*Corresponding Author:
Halil Ibrahim Ceylan, Research Assistant
Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Faculty of Sports Sciences
Kotekli/Mugla, 48000
(1) Ozcan Saygin is a Professor in Sports Exercise Science at the Mugla Sitki Kocman University studying physical activity and fitness
(2) Kemal Goral is an assistant professor at the Mugla Sitki Kocman University studying competition analysis, performance measurement, futsal, and soccer.
(3) Halil İbrahim Ceylan is a research assistant and doctoral student at the Mugla Sitki Kocman University studying Health and Coaching Sciences.

An Examination of the Coincidence Anticipation Performance of Soccer Players According to their Playing Positions and Different Stimulus Speeds

The purpose of this study is to examine the coincidence anticipation timing of soccer players, according to different stimulus speeds and playing positions. Forty licensed soccer players (goalkeepers: 10, defense: 10; midfielder: 10, forward: 10) participated voluntarily in this study. Coincidence anticipation timing performances of the subjects at different stimulus speeds (3mph, 5mph, 8mph) were measured with a Bassin anticipation timer. In order to determine whether the coincidence anticipation timing performance values of the soccer players vary according to different stimulus speeds and player positions, the One-Way Anova Test was used. In order to find from which player position and stimulus speed the difference stemmed, the Tukey HSD Test was used. A significant difference was observed in the (3mph) stimulus speed absolute error score according to the player positions of the soccer players (p less than 0.05). The significant difference stems from the goalkeepers having less absolute error scores than defense and midfielder players and their statistically higher performance accuracy in coincidence anticipation timing. Significant differences were found between the absolute error scores at 3mph, 5mph, 8mph stimulus speeds (p less than 0.05), and it was observed that the absolute error score was less at lower stimulus speeds (3mph) when compared with higher stimulus speeds (8mph), and that the coincidence anticipation timing performance accuracy was better. As a conclusion, it is recommended that activities that improve coincidence anticipation timing of the soccer players at different stimulus speeds should be included when training programs are planned.

Keywords: Coincidence Anticipation Timing, Performance, Player Position, Soccer, Stimulus Speed


2016-08-10T10:03:34-05:00August 18th, 2016|Commentary, Sports Health & Fitness|Comments Off on An Examination of the Coincidence Anticipation Performance of Soccer Players according to their Playing Positions and Different Stimulus Speeds

Determining team identification, service quality perceptions, and sport consumption intentions of professional soccer spectators: An investigation of gender differences

Submitted by Ali Aycan, Olcay Kiremitci, Erdinç Demiray, R. Timuçin Gençer


The purpose of this study has been to determine the relationships among gender, team identification, service quality perceptions and sport consumption intentions of professional soccer team spectators. 694 soccer spectators (female = 180, male = 514) participated in the study. T-test results demonstrated no significant difference between male and female sample groups in team identification and sport consumption intentions. T-test results revealed statistically significant difference between male and female only in physical environment quality perceptions. In the male spectators’ sample, the physical environment quality perception stands out among service quality sub-dimensions whereas the merchandising consumption intention stands out among sport consumption intentions. For female spectators, the physical environment quality perception stands out among service quality sub-dimensions, whereas the media consumption intention stands out among sport consumption intentions.


Today, sports and leisure activities continue to affect society (1). Attending sporting events, the top leisure activity, is a common interest long-held especially in modern societies (28). Despite its gradually increasing popularity, competition for spectators is increasing among sports organizations (14). Determining what variables attract spectators is important to clubs’ continued existence in this competitive environment (9, 30).

Professional soccer is a main part of the sports industry, bringing in many spectators, supporters, facilities, events, media connections, and sponsors. Shank (26) stated that “if the sporting event is the heart of sports industry, then the spectator is the blood that keeps it pumping”. Soccer clubs are the building blocks of professional soccer and draw their strength from spectators. The budget of soccer clubs depends on attendance fees, but also on media and merchandising revenues (13, 14). In this regard, rather than the behavioral intentions of the spectators, determining the factors affecting these intentions may be beneficial for soccer clubs to develop efficient strategies.

Professional soccer clubs are basically service organizations. Each exists for a specific purpose, and its success depends on the consistency of its efforts to accomplish that purpose (23). The concept of “quality” plays a critical role in the success of service organizations. Meeting and exceeding target customers’ expectations of service quality sets an organization apart (17).
Because services have an intangible character, service quality has an intangible structure. Therefore, we speak of “perceived service quality,” not objective service quality (4). Perceived service quality is the direction and degree of difference between customers’ expectations before they receive the service (expected service) and their real service experience (perceived service or perceived performance) (21, 22).

While measurement of service quality has become more advanced, very little development has concerned what is measured (2). All that sources seem to agree upon is the necessity of performance measurement. The roles of expectations and importance of service quality measurement have become the two most commonly discussed issues (24). Some definitions of quality in services have focused on what to assess. These definitions include the core service, the physical environment including service-related equipment and facilities, and the interaction among individuals in service performance (5).

These three elements shape spectators’ perceptions of service quality. The core service provided by professional soccer clubs is the game of soccer itself. A game of soccer can only become a service delivery in the presence of people who will watch it. Hence, the clubs produce each game with the spectators, who also consume it simultaneously (20). This causes interactions among the spectators, and between them and the service providers. These interactions need a physical environment in which to take place.

Although sports are an important social institution, sport spectatorship is an individual behavior that can take different forms such as attendance, watching, and listening (12). Identification with the team has been found to be the most important predictor in many studies (31). However, along with individual factors, environmental factors affect sport’s relationship with individuals as well (20). Wakefield and Sloan (33) state that attendance in soccer matches is not only a function of team performance or team attachment, but also of all the experiences of spectators in the stadium.

Understanding spectators’ intentions regarding their sport consumption is important to efficient, targeted strategy. This study aims to determine team identification levels, service quality perceptions, and sport consumption intentions of professional soccer spectators by gender. It should also specify the relationship between sport consumption and service quality perceptions of female and male spectators.


Participants in this study included 694 spectators of professional soccer teams operating in Izmir, the third-largest city in Turkey, and playing in the PTT 1.League. Among these participants, 233 (33.6%) were Göztepe SC spectators, 247 (35.6%) were Karşıyaka SC spectators, and 214 (30.8%) were Buca SC spectators. Among them, 514 (74.1%) were males while 180 (25.9%) were females. Their average age was 25.27 ± 8.66 years.

The study used the Scale of Perceived Service Quality in Professional Sport (8), Sport Consumption Behavior Intention Scale (15) and team identification subscale of the Points of Attachment Index (25, 29). The S_PSQPS, consists of 20 items within three subscales, including: (a) Interaction Quality (IQ, 6 items) (b) Physical Environment Quality (PEQ, 8 items) and (c) Core Service Quality (CSQ, 6 items). Items were scored on a five-point Likert-scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) and each item was preceded with the phrase, “In (the name of the stadium) stadium …”. Confirmatory factor analysis results (χ2 = 468.46, df = 162, χ2/df = 2.89, RMSEA = .056, SRMR = .048, GFI = .93, AGFI = .91, CFI = .94, IFI = .94, NFI = .92, NNFI = .93) and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients (varied between .83 and .88) reveal the measurement tool is valid and reliable.

The Sport Consumption Behavior Intention Scale (15) consists of three items each listed under the sub-dimensions of attendance intention, sport media consumption intention and licensed merchandise consumption intention. The Turkish version of the scale is assessed over a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Confirmatory factor analysis results (χ2 = 22.73 df = 12, χ2/df = 1.89, RMSEA = .036, SRMR = .012, NFI = 1.00, CFI = 1.00, IFI = 1.00, NNFI = .99, GFI = .99, and AGFI = .97) and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients (varied between .80 and .87) reveal that the measurement tool is valid and reliable (16).

Team identification is one of the subscales of the Points of Attachment Index (PAI) (25, 29) and consists of three items based on a seven-point Likert-type scale response format ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (7). The Turkish version of PAI is valid and reliable (10, 11).

Statistical Analysis
For the descriptive analyses of the data obtained from participants, we used the SPSS 13.0 statistic package program to make t-test and canonical correlation analyses. In the data analysis, first, we compared average spectator scores for each gender in the sub-dimensions of service quality, sport consumption, and team identification. To present the relationship between spectators’ service quality perceptions and sport consumption intentions, we applied canonical correlation analysis separately to each gender. Within the scope of this analysis, we considered canonical correlation coefficients, canonical redundancy analysis results and cross-loadings of the sub-dimensions.


Results showed a significant difference in service quality perceptions between male and female sample groups in the physical environment quality sub-dimension (p<.05). Other sub-dimensions, including consumption and team identification, show no such significant difference (p>.05) (Table 1).

In addition, we analyzed canonical correlations to determine the relationship between variable sets of service quality perceptions and sport consumption intentions to the data obtained from male and female sample groups separately. The first canonical function of both groups was statistically significant (p<.01) (Table 2). That first function considered redundancy analysis results, presenting the explanation percentages of variable sets. For male spectators, service quality perception explains 75.9% of its variable set, while sport consumption intentions explain 6.0%. Sport consumption intentions explain 73.9% of its variable set whereas service quality perceptions explain 5.9%. As for female spectators, service quality perception explains 72.5% of its variable, sport consumption 11.2%; sport consumption intention 79.3% of its variable set and service quality perception 12.2% (Table 2). In terms of perceived service quality, males seemed to pay the most attention to quality of the physical environment (canonical loading = -.991; cross loading = -.279) and interaction (canonical loading = -.837; cross loading = -.236); and in terms of their intentions, they cared most about merchandising (canonical loading = .963; cross loading = .271) and attendance (canonical loading = .930; cross loading = -.262) (Table 3). Females seemed to care most about physical environment (canonical loading=-.978; cross loading=-.384), interaction (canonical loading=-.954; cross loading=-.375), media (canonical loading=.946; cross loading=.372) and attendance (canonical loading=.910; cross loading=.357) (Table 3). DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS

Although female and male spectators’ media and merchandising-related intentions were high, their service quality perceptions were rather low. There was no significant difference between males and females in terms of team identification or consumption intentions. Quality perceptions of core service, interaction and physical environment may be low because these spectators’ teams compete in a lower league, and their stadiums suffer by comparison to the super league. Their directors spend most of their budget on player transfers to create a team that can move up to the super league and therefore ignore stadiums’ issues.

Physical environment quality perceptions of the female spectators participating in the study are significantly lower than the male spectators. Social interaction plays an important role in female attendance. Dietz-Uhler et al. (6) says that women often attend games with family and friends, and continue their sport spectatorship for social reasons. Although the structure of stadiums and popularity of soccer provide social opportunities, low perceptions regarding physical environment quality may affect female attendance. Physical environment does affect the quality of social interaction (3, 34).

Although males have a poor opinion of soccer’s physical environment and interaction low, they maintain their merchandising and attendance intentions positively. This situation results from their high team identification levels. Spectators with high team identification levels attend more games and watch more sports through media. They also buy more merchandise (31). Although Matsuoka et al. (19) states that the satisfaction from team identification and game experience have a remarkable effect on attendance intentions for future games, Mahony and Moorman (18) claim spectators with high identification levels attend games regardless of any other factors. However, according to Theodorakis et al. (27), high service quality raises the willingness to attend future games among those with medium and high identification levels, but does not influence those with the highest identification levels.

The high identification levels of this study’s participants and the negligible gender difference in those levels increases the importance of physical environment and interaction for female spectators. Females often attend sports for social interaction, attaching more importance to the stadium environment. Even though they have high identification levels, their poor perception of the environment and interaction makes them more likely to consume media than attend games. Media help spectators sustain their emotional attachment and feel the uncertainty of the score (7), particularly through live broadcasting. Wann et al. (32) emphasizes that spectators should not be mistaken for fans. Some fans with high identification levels do not attend games, and some spectators have very low identification levels.

In conclusion, professional soccer spectators with high levels of identification do not consider service quality perceptions very much. They continue attending the games of their teams, consume merchandise and follow their teams on the media even when the related service quality is low. Male spectators show a special interest in their teams’ merchandise despite their low service quality perceptions. However, female spectators’ high media consumption intentions compared to their attendance intentions shows the importance of the physical environment. Sports directors and marketers who wish to attract spectators, especially female spectators, to stadiums should work to improve their environment, not just identification with their teams.


1. Aycan, A., Polat, E., & Uçan, Y. (2009). Investigation over the correlation between the team identification level and variables affecting the spectator decision to attend professional soccer games. Spormetre-Journal of Physical Education and Sports Science, 7(4), 169-174.

2. Brady, M.K., & Cronin, J.J. (2001). Some new thoughts on conceptualizing perceived service quality: A hierarchical approach. Journal of Marketing, 65, 34-49.

3. Bitner, M.J. (1992). Servicescapes: The impact of physical surroundings on customer and employees. Journal of Marketing, 56, 57-71.

4. Caruana, A., Money, A.H., & Berthon, P.R. (2000). Service quality and satisfaction – The moderating role of value. European Journal of Marketing, 34(11/12), 1338-1352.

5. Chelladurai, P., & Chang, K. (2000). Targets and standards of quality in sport services. Sport Management Review, 3, 1-22.

6. Dietz-Uhler, B., Harrick, E.A., End, C., & Jacquemotte, L. (2000). Sex differences in sport fan behavior and reasons for being a sport fan. Journal of Sport Behavior, 23(3), 219-231.

7. Foster, G., Greyser, S.A., & Walsh, B. (2006). The business of sport: Text and cases on strategy and management. Thomson South Western.

8. Gençer, R.T. (2011). The relationship between team identification and service quality perceptions in professional football. African Journal of Business Management, 5(6), 2140-2150.

9. Gençer, R.T., & Aycan, A. (2008). An investigation on variables effecting the spectators’ decision to attend professional soccer games in Turkey. Ege Academic Review, 8(2), 771-783.

10. Gençer, R.T., Kiremitci, O., & Boyacioglu, H. (2011). Spectator motives and points of attachment: An investigation on professional basketball. Journal of Human Kinetics, 30, 189-196.

11. Gençer, R.T., Kiremitci, O., Aycan, A., Demiray, E., & Unutmaz, V. (2012). The relationship between the motives and points of attachment of the professional football team spectators. Ege Academic Review, 12, 41-53.

12. Grove, S.J., Dorsch, M.J., & Hopkins, C.D. (2012). Assessing the longitudinal robustness of spectators’ perceptions of the functions of sport: Implications for sport marketers. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 20(1), 23-38.

13. Kesenne, S. (2007). The economics theory of professional team sports. an analytical treatment. Cheltanham: Edward Elgar.

14. Kim, Y.K., & Trail, G.T. (2011). A conceptual framework for understanding relationships between sport consumers and sport organizations: a relationship quality approach. Journal of Sport Management, 25(1), 57-69.

15. Kim, Y.K., Trail, G.T., & Ko, Y.J. (2011). The influence of relationship quality on sport consumption behaviors: An empirical examination of the relationship quality framework. Journal of Sport Management, 25(6), 576-592.

16. Kiremitci, O., Demiray, E., Gençer, R.T., & Aycan, A. (2013). Psychometric properties of the sport consumption behavior intention scale: A study on Turkish football spectators. Manuscript submitted for publication.

17. Kotler, P. (1997). Marketing management (9th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

18. Mahony, D.F., & Moorman, A.M. (2000). The relationship between the attitudes of professional sports fans and their intentions to watch televised games. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 5(2), 11-20.

19. Matsuoka, H., Chelladurai, P., & Harada, M. (2003). Direct and interaction effects of team identification and satisfaction on intention to attend games. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 12(4), 244-253.

20. Mullin, B.J., Hardy, S., & Sutton, W.A. (2000). Sport Marketing (2nd ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetics.

21. Parasuraman, A. (1995). Measuring and monitoring service quality. In: W. Glynn, & J.G. Barnes (Eds.). Understanding services management. Chichester: John Wiley And Sons Inc.

22. Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A., & Berry, L.L. (1985). A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. Journal of Marketing, 49(4), 41-50.

23. Pitts, B.G., & Stotlar, D.K. (2013). Fundamentals of sport marketing (4th ed.). Morgantown: West Virginia University.

24. Robinson, S. (1999). Measuring service quality: Current thinking and future requirements. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 17(1), 21-32.

25. Robinson, M.J., Trail, G.T., & Kwon, H. (2004). Motives and points of attachment of professional golf spectators. Sport Management Review, 7, 167-192.

26. Shank, M.D. (1999). Sport Marketing. A Strategic Perspective. NJ: Prentice Hall.

27. Theodorakis, N.D., Koustelios, A., Robinson, L., & Barlas, A. (2009). Moderating role of team identification on the relationship between service quality and repurchase intentions among spectators of professional sports. Managing Service Quality, 19, 456-473.

28. Trail, G.T., & James, J.D. (2001). The motivation scale for sport consumption: Assessment of the scales psychometric properties. Journal of Sport Behavior, 24(2), 108-128.

29. Trail, G.T., Robinson, M.J., Dick, R.J., & Gillentine, A.J. (2003). Motives and points of attachment: fans versus spectators in intercollegiate athletics. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 12(4), 217-227.

30. Trenberth, L., & Garland, R. (2007). Sport and consumer buying behavior. In: J.G. Beech, & S. Chadwick (Eds.). The Marketing of Sport. Harlow: Prentice Hall.

31. Wann, D.L. (2006). The causes and consequences of sport team identification. In: A.R. Arthur, & B. Jennings (Eds.). Handbook sports and media. Cheltenham: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

32. Wann, D.L., Melnick, M.J., Russell, G.W., & Pease, D.G. (2001). Sport fans: The psychology and social impact of spectators. New York: Routledge Press.

33. Wakefield, K.L., & Sloan, H.J. (1995). The effects of team loyalty and selected stadium factors on spectator attendance. Journal of Sport Management, 9(2), 153-172.

34. Westerbeek, H.M., & Shilbury, D. (1999). Increasing the focus on “Place” in the marketing mix for facility dependent sport services. Sport Management Review, 2, 1-23.





2014-02-03T13:22:33-05:00February 3rd, 2014|Contemporary Sports Issues|Comments Off on Determining team identification, service quality perceptions, and sport consumption intentions of professional soccer spectators: An investigation of gender differences

Amateur Soccer Players and the Phenomenon of Motivation

Submitted by Papanikolaou Zissis and Dr. Asterios Patsiaouras

The relationship between various types of psychological and social motivation in amateur soccer players was examined in this paper.Twenty eight males and 14females who participated in this study regularly engaged in soccer. The amateur soccer players ranged in experience from beginning to advanced soccer, with the majority self-reporting at an intermediate level. Subjects were given Butt’s Short Scales for the Measurement of Sport Motivation. Males and females soccer players scored similarly on the aggression scale. Female amateur soccer players scored significantly higher on the conflict scale than did male soccer players. Identical means were found for males and females on the competence scale. There were no differences found between males and females on the motivational scales for competition and cooperation. Due to the small number of subjects who have participated, general conclusions can only be made with great caution.


Interest in the sport of soccer has greatly increased in recent years, bringing men and women into fields. According to FIFA survey of 2007 (41), 265 million male and female players in addition to 5 million referees and officials make a grand total of 270 million people or 4% of the world’s population-who are actively involved in the game of soccer. Among the most pleasing signs is the continuing growth of the women’s game. The number of men and women playing soccer is expanding the world over. One especially important statistic that can be drawn from the number of registered players is the proportion made up by youngsters, who constitute 54.7% of all registered male players and as many as 69.6% of the women. The greater number of young players in the women’s game is a reflection of the impressive growth in women’s football, which has also resulted in a significant increase in the number of registered amateur players (up 130% compared to 16% in the men’s game). These figures dearly indicate that FIFA and its associations are on the right track to increasing the popularity of soccer even further in the future.

Understanding and enhancing motivation has long been a major concern in sport. Without motivation athletes would not desire to excel in their sport, coaches would no longer strive to unify the team, and a player’s drive to set and reach goals would end. Roberts (28) defines motivation as “those personality factors, social variables, and/or cognitions that come into play when a person undertakes a task at which he/she is evaluated, enters into competition with others, or attempts to attain some standard of excellence”. (p. 5).

The biggest and most common reason that affects soccer performance is soccer motivation or lack of it. Without motivation all soccer players will crumble under the various pressures and problems soccer manages to throw up. Generally, speaking motivation is guided by the hope of success and the fear of failure. When you lack the self-belief and confidence, there is a good chance you also lack motivation.

Motivation is an internal energy force that determinates all aspects of our behavior, it also impacts on how we think, feel and interact with others. In sport, high motivation is widely accepted as an essential prerequisite in getting athletes to fulfill their potential. However, given its inherently abstract nature, it is a force that is often difficult to explain fully. Some coaches, appear to have a “magic touch” being able to get a great deal more out of a team than the sum of its individual parts; others find motivation to be an elusive concept they are forever struggling to master. Motivation is a dynamic and multifaceted phenomenon that can be manipulated, to some degree at least in the pursuit of superior sporting performance.

Some theories and models of motivation were examined, as they relate to sport. The study of motivation is the investigation of the energization and direction of behavior (28). Early theories of motivation (Mechanistic theories) viewed humans as being passive and driven by psychological drives. More recently, however, cognitive approaches have been developed to explain behaviour from the beliefs or thoughts that people have. The following are some major approaches to motivation, followed by the theory that is the basis of this paper.

Roberts (28) suggests that the search for the “right” theory of motivation is not yet within our grasp; however many excellent efforts are available. Need Achievement Theory, introduced by Murray (25) and further developed by McClelland and Atkinson (24), suggests two motive states that elicit action: (a) the motive to achieve success, and (b) the motive to avoid failure. This theory reflects the philosophy of our Western society, which places value on gaining rewards, high achievement, and moving forward and improving our position within society (5). Research in sport with Need Achievement Theory has been inconclusive.

In recent years, the cognitive approach has been the dominant paradigm in understanding motivation. This refers to how cognitions or thoughts govern behavior. Within this approach is Attribution Theory, which is concerned with the methods and attributes that an individual uses in attempting to account for the causes of behavior (36,37,38). The way in which one attributes the cause of an outcome will affect the expectation of future successes and failures. The expectation of future outcomes will affect the striving for achievement (28). Although this theory has focused upon why people expect to succeed, it neglects to explain why people want to succeed.

More recently, Social Cognitive Approaches have incorporated affect, expectations, and values in order to explain motivated behaviors (28). Bandura’s (2) theory of Self-Efficacy refers to the assessment of one’s own capability in performing at a given level. This theory suggests that the self-perception of the performer determines motivations and aspirations and not the actual ability of the performer. Research within the sport setting indicates self-efficacy to be a modest predictor of sport performance (11, 12, 23), although many others factors may contribute to behavioral change (3,12).

The perception of one’s competence may also determine behaviors in sport. Harter (17) developed a model of perceived competence which suggested that perceived competence and intrinsic pleasure gained from success will increase achievement striving, while perceived incompetence and displeasure may lead to anxiety and a decrease in achievement striving. Much of the research with Harter’s model has been performed with children with favourable results; however, children have notoriously been inaccurate in estimating their comparative ability (13, 26, 29,32).

A model developed by Butt (4) focuses on the motivational components specific to sport and is the basis of this study. Butt indicates that motivation in sport evolves on four levels: (a) the biological, (b) the psychological, (c) the social, and (d) the reinforcement level. The first and the fourth levels provide two major sources, or influences of sports motivation: (a) a biological energy or life force, and (b) a set of learned reinforcements. These reinforcements may be extrinsic (i.e., overt rewards) or intrinsic (i.e., feelings of well-being and personal growth). The psychological and social levels contain the five constructs that will be examined in this paper. Aggression, conflict, and competence are the three styles of sport motivation contained within the psychological level, and the other two constructs of competition and cooperation contains the level of social motivation.

The aggressive athlete appears to have a great deal of energy, and thus seems to be eager, active, and impulsive. If frustrated, the aggressive athlete may verbally or physically attack others. This involves feelings of power, vivacity, anger, and strength, and often lacks self- control. He or she may also be quick to find fault in others (5).

The conflict-ridden athlete often complains and makes excuses. This athlete may be unhappy, and is usually slow to fulfil his or her goals. Life energy is channeled into opposing purposes and pursuits, such as the desire to express impulse versus quilt for the expression of impulse. Energy is used to mediate the struggle between opposing purposes. Conflict can result in self-destructiveness, self-absorption, blaming others, complaints, worries, depression and inactivity, weeping, and other nervous symptoms (5).

The competence – oriented athlete usually displays more maturity and self–insight than the others. This athlete seeks new challenges and displays confidence in his or her sport. Life energy is channeled into interacting effectively and purposefully with the environment. The individual expects to have the effect on the environment that he or she desires to have and the expectations are realistic. Joy, pleasure, elation, and self-esteem accompany activity and interaction with the environment. Setbacks and failures are accepted as a realistic part of development from which new learning and new development may evolve(5).

The level of social motivation contains the constructs of competition and cooperation. The motivation of a competitively oriented athlete is derived primarily from the desire to defeat others. A contest or competitive sporting event is seen as a chance to dominate others and display assertiveness. The competitively motivated athlete also places importance on status and position, which may lead to frustration and resentment if such goals are not achieved (4).The individual wants to defeat others, to be number one, to have rivals, and sees the environment as an adversary over which one must triumph (5).

The cooperative athlete sees others as partners in the sporting event or contest. The contest is seen as an opportunity for personal growth and skill development. The cooperative athlete is usually good-natured and shows concern for his or her competitors while striving for personal excellence (4). The major social motive in a contest is derived from participating with others, from feeling part of the group, team or club. The individual desires to raise the performance of all as a group experience, cares for others, empathizes, and congratulates others. The perception of the environment is that of supportive and interdependent with the self (5).

One of the most popular and widely tested approaches to motivation in sport and other achievement domains is self-determination theory, that examines the effect of the social context on motivation and individual behaviors (9,10, 30). This theory is based on a number of motives or regulations, which vary in terms of the degree of self-determination they reflect. Self-determination has to do with the degree to which your behaviors are chosen and self-initiated. The behavioral regulations can be placed on a self-determination continuum. From the least to the most self-determined they are amotivation, external regulation, introjected regulation, identified regulation, integrated regulation and intrinsic motivation.

According to Hungarian psychologist MihalyiCsikszentmihalyi (7,8), the highest level of intrinsic motivation is flow state. Flow is characterized by complete immersion in an activity to the degree that nothing else matters. Central to the attainment of flow is a situation in which there is a perfect match between the perceived demands of an activity and an athletes’ perceived ability or skills. During flow, self-consciousness is last and athletes become one with the activity.
Motivation has been studied in many sports such as figure skating (31); rugby (19); and gymnastics (39). There is a lack of research, however, on the motivation of soccer. Research is necessary in this sport due to the favor of its participants and increasing popularity and participation by men and women of all ages. Therefore, this literature review is limited to test data from other types of athletes, and other psychological studies involving male and female soccer players.
Gender differences investigated in this study pertained to differences in motivation. Investigating the motivations of competitive and amateur soccer players is a necessary step in understanding this complex and popular sport. The diversity among the many theories and models of motivation reminds us of the vast number of possibilities as to why we behave the way we do in sport. Measuring a construct such as motivation in sport is a difficult task due to the endless, number of variables in an athlete’s personality. However, human nature dictates that similarities do exist among our personalities which, if measured, help us to predict our behavior.

The purpose at this study was to examine the relationship between various types of psychological and social motivation in soccer and to compare motivation between male and female amateur soccer players. For the purpose of this paper, motivation was operationally defined as the score on the Sport Motivation Scale.The hypothesis of this study was: There will be no difference on any of motivational scales between male and female soccer players (aggression, conflict, competence, competition and cooperation).

Research Design
The research design employed was a descriptive study. Amateur soccer players who played in the area of Philadelphia, USA, were asked to complete Butt’s (4) short scales for the Measurement of Sport Motivation. Forty-two adult male and female amateur soccer players completed and returned the questionnaires.

Participants were 42 adult (age 18 years or over) soccer players, males (n=28) and females (n=14), who regularly engaged in soccer (worked out at least two days per week). The male subjects ranged in the age from 18 to 38 years (M=28.7±4.50), and the females ranged in age from 20 to 35 years (M=28±3.80). Subjects were members of two amateur soccer teams chosen by the first researcher.

Measuring Instrument
Subjects completed Butt’s (4) short scales for the Measurement of Sport Motivations questionnaire. The survey was developed to measure motivation specifically in the sport context. The scales measured the motivational components of aggression, conflict, competence, competition and cooperation. These constructs were measured by 10 items on each scale. Internal consistency measures ranged from .69 (aggression) to .74 (competition). Test-retest reliability ranged from .50 (competence) to .80 (conflict) across a two-week interval. A total of 52 questionnaires were distributed (26 at each team) with 42 being returned for a return rate of 80.8%. Four weeks allowed for returning the questionnaire. No questionnaires were received after that time.

Data analysis
Descriptive statistics were calculated for the Sport Motivation Scales. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was computed to determine differences between genders. Correlation coefficients were also computed to investigate the relationships among the five components of motivation.

A one-way ANOVA was performed to compose gender with five components of motivation: (a) aggression, (b) conflict, (c) competence, (d) competition, and (e) cooperation. The overall scores are listed in Table 1. Table 2 indicates the mean values for this study and previously studied athletes from other areas of sport who were given the Sport Motivation Scales. Realizing the dangers of visual comparison of means, it appears that subjects in this study were responding differently from the other groups, especially in competence and cooperation. At the very least, the data suggest that further study in this area would be of interest.

Table 1.Motivational Component Scores for the Soccer Players by Gender.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 9.52.27 AM

Table 2. Mean Values for the Sport Motivation Scales for Various Athletes

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 10.00.39 AM

With respect to male and female soccer players, females scored significantly higher on the conflict scale (M=3.14) than the males (M=1.71) (F=5.40). The other four motivational components were not found to be significantly different between males and females. Results are provided in Table 3.
Interestingly, there were identical means for both males and females on the competence scale (M=7.29).

Table 3.Results of ANOVA for Gender and the Five Motivational Components

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 10.04.34 AM

In an attempt to test Butt’s (4) theory, correlation coefficients were computed to investigate the relationships among the five motivational components (see Table 4). As predicted by Butt’s theory, the psychological component of competence was significantly correlated with the social component of cooperation (r=.66). Further support for her theory was a significant correlation of the psychological component of aggression with the social component of competition (r=.51). However, aggression was also correlated with competence (r=.46) and cooperation (r=.38), which were not consistent with Butt’s theory that there would be no correlation between their components.

Table 4. Correlation Coefficients Comparing the Five Motivational Components and Amateur Soccer Players

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 10.06.41 AM

The results indicated differences between males and females on the conflict scale, and similarities among males and females on the aggression, competence, competition, and cooperation scales.

The information gained from this study suggested more similarities than differences between male and female amateur soccer players. Due to the limited number of subjects in this study, interpreting the data for these groups was difficult, and general conclusions should be made with great caution.

Males and females scored similarly on the aggression scale. Very often society sees men as the more aggressive sex, making this similarity difficult to explain. Klein (20) suggests that women athletes may feel an increase in control over their bodies, the aging process, and other aspects that may lead to feelings of empowerment. Their feelings of empowerment by the women may have been presented on this questionnaire in the aggression scale. Some of the responses in the aggression scale included the words “powerful”, “excited”, and “full of energy”. These are all words that could suggest feelings of empowerment.

Female soccer players scored significantly higher on the conflict scale than did male soccer players. One explanation for the women’s higher scores on the conflict scale may be due to the stereotype and/or belief that muscular women do not look feminine. Klein (20) suggests that gender role conflict can occur in female athletes when women desire to build athletic body (muscle mass), but also want to remain attractive to men.

Another explanation for the higher conflict score for the women concerns the questionnaire itself. The 10 responses on the questionnaire that measured conflict contained certain words or phrases that may have been stereotypically attributed to women more than men. For instance, Item 6 reads, “moody for no real reason”, and Item 12 states, “guilty for not doing better”’. Words such as “moody” and “guilty” have been thoughtby many to pertain to women’s feelings more than men (34), possibly making it less likely for a male to answer “yes” to questions such as these.

Identical means were found for males and females on the competence scale. Both sexes scored high on this scale with the greatest number of “yes” responses than with any other scale on the questionnaire. This may be due, in part, to the ease of “taking good” on this scale. Some of the items on the competence scale include “trustworthy”, “improving yourself” and “happier than ever”, making it more likely for the participants to answer “yes” to these items if they wanted to appear in a positive manner.

According to Butt’s (4) theory a tendency of one of the psychological components of motivation would predict dominance in one of the social components of motivation of either competition or cooperation. Since there were no significant differences between males and females in the competition or cooperation scales, one cannot predict dominance at any social components of motivation with the subjects in this study. Although female amateur soccer players were significantly higher on the conflict scale, they were not higher on the competition scale, as predicted by Butt’s theory that a higher conflict score will likely result in a higher competition score.

A study examining the relationship between athletes’ goal orientations and their levels of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation indicated that British Collegiate athletes with task-related or personal mastery goals were far more likely to report high self-determination than athletes with ego-orientated or social comparision-type goals (27).

A recent study showed that during competition deemed to be important, intrinsically motivated athletes developed task-oriented (positive) coping strategies (1).Gϋrbϋzet al. (16) indicated that male soccer players rated improvement and 21,4% of the players rated the “team spirit” as their participation motive.
Results of Gillet andRosnet (15) revealed that male athletes perceived themselves as being more competent than female athletes, but female athletes exhibited a higher self-determinated profile. This is not surprising given male athletes typically display higher self-confidence than female athletes (21, 33, 35). One explanation suggested for gender differences in perceived competence may be that males are boastful and think they will do better than they do (22). Also their results showed that male athletes exhibited more external regulation and less intrinsic motivation than female athletes. In other words, females appeared to take part in sport activities for the pleasure derived from the activity itself more than for extrinsic motives. These results were in line with past studies in the sport context (6, 14) and confirmed that gender differences should be taken into consideration in the sport domain. However, contrary to a study conducted by Hollembeak and Amorose’s (18) their findings did not confirm that females reported higher scores on perceived autonomy and perceived relatedness than males. They proposed that future investigations should continue to explore gender differences in basic need satisfaction in order to gain a better understanding of the motivational processes underpinning sport participation.

When interpreting the results of this study, it is important to consider the need for a possible revalidation of Butt’s (4) Short Scales for the Measurement of Sport Motivation. Some items may need to be reworded or omitted to ensure equal interpretation by males and females, as well as subjects of various racial groups and socioeconomic statuses. Ideally, this inventory would have the ability to be valid considering the changing attitudes in society so it can be utilized in the future.

Overall, this information will be useful to those involved in the sport of soccer. Since female soccer players scored significantly higher than male soccer players on the conflict scale, soccer coaches may need to become more sensitive to issues of female soccer players, and provide a supportive atmosphere to beginning female players.

The present research was on attempt to broaden our understanding of soccer players’ motivation. When comparing gender with motivation, female soccer players scored significantly higher on the conflict scale than did male amateur soccer players. No differences were found on the scales of aggression, competence, competition, or cooperation.

In conclusion, investigating the motivation of amateur male and female soccer players is a necessary step in understanding this complex and popular sport. Measuring a construct such as motivation in sport is a difficult task due to the endless number of variables in an athlete’s personality. However, human nature dictates that similarities do exist among our personalities, which, if measured, can help us to predict our behavior.

Future studies would be enhanced by administering the Short Scales for the Measurement of Sport Motivations (4) to professional, semi-professional, college, high schools competitive male and female soccer players. Generalizations may be easier to make for strictly competitive subjects due to their similar goals and soccer lifestyle. Administer the questionnaire to the same subjects over a period of time. Subjects could be tested over several months or years to investigate any changes in motivational styles. Other methods of studying soccer players should be utilized to investigate their motivational components. In-depth interviews and field studies could provide information not easily gained via questionnaire.

The results of this study provide useful informationto those who are involved in the sport of soccer (coaches, educators, participants etc.). Since female soccer players scored significantly higher than male soccer players on the conflict scale, soccer coaches should be more sensitive to issues of female soccer players, trying to offer a supportive atmosphere for the amateur female players. This will be beneficial for the motivation of the players, not only for the females but also for themales.

I would like to express my gratitude to all soccer players who made this research possible with their willingness to participate.

1. Amiot, C. E., Gaudreau, P., & Blanchard, C. M. (2005).Self-determination, coping, and goal attainment in sport. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 26, 396-411.
2. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
3. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory.Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
4. Butt, D.S. (1978). Short scales for the measurement of sport motivations. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 10, 203-216.
5. Butt, D.S.(1987).Psychology of sport (2nd ed.). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
6. Chantal, Y., Guay, F., Dobreva-Martinova, T., &Vallerand, R. J. (1996). Motivation and elite performance: An exploratory investigation with Bulgarian athletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 27,173–182.
7. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Beyond Boredom and Anxiety. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.
8. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper and Row.
9. Deci, E. & Ryan, R. (1985).Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination in Human Behavior. New York: Plenum.
10. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1991). A motivational approach to self: Integration in personality. Nebraska symposium on motivation, 38,237-288. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
11. Feltz, D. L. (1982). Path analysis of the casual elements in Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy and an anxiety-based model of avoidance behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 764-781.
12. Feltz, D.L. (1988). Gender differences in the causal elements of self-efficacy on a high avoidance motor task’. Journal of Sport Psychology, 10, 151-156.
13. Feltz, D.L., &Petlichkoff, L. (1983). Perceived competence among interscholastic sport participants and dropouts. Canadian Journal of Applied Sport Sciences, 8, 231-235.
14. Fortier, M. S., Vallerand, R. J., Brière, N. M., &Provencher, P. (1995). Competitive and recreational sport structures and gender: A test of their relationship with sport motivation. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 26,24-39.
15. Gillet, N., &Rosnet, E. (2008). Basic Need Satisfaction and Motivation in Sport. www.athleticinsight.com, vol. 10/3.
16. Gϋrbϋz, B., Altintas, A., Asci, F.M. (2007). Participation motives of 9-15 years old Turkish soccer players’. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, suppl.10, http://www.ssm.org.jssm.org.
17. Harter, S. (1978). Effectance motivation reconsidered: Toward a developmental model. Human Development, 21, 34-64.
18. Hollembeak, J., &Amorose, A. J. (2005). Perceived coaching behaviors and college athletes’ intrinsic motivation: A test of Self-Determination Theory. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 17, 20-36.
19. Kerr, J.H. (1988). A study of motivation in rugby. The Journal of Social Psychology, 128, 269-270.
20. Klein, A.M. (1993).Little big men. New York: State University of New York Press.
21. Krane, V., & Williams, J. M. (1994) Cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and confidence in track and field athletes: The impact of gender, competitive level and task characteristics. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 25, 203–217.
22. Lirgg, C. D. (1991). Gender differences in self-confidence in physical activity: A meta-analysis of recent studies. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 13, 294–310.
23. McAuley, E. (1985). Modeling and self-efficacy: A test of Bandura’s model. Journal of Sport Psychology, 7, 283-295.
24. McClelland, D. C., & Atkinson, J. W. (1953).The achievement motive. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
25. Murray, H.A. (1938).Explorations in personality. New York: Oxford University Press.
26. Nicholls, J.G. (1978). The development of the concepts of effort and ability, perception of attainment, and the understanding that difficult tasks require more ability. Child Development, 49, 800-814.
27. Ntoumanis, N. (2001). Empirical links between achievement goal theory and self-determination theory in sport. Journal of Sports Sciences, 19, 397-409.
28. Roberts, G.C. Motivation in sport and exercise. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1992.
29. Roberts, G.C., Kleiber, D.A., &Duda, J.L. (1981). An analysis of motivation in children’s sport: The role of perceived competence in participation. Journal of Sport Psychology, 3, 206-216.
30. Ryan, R.M., &Deci, E.L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.
31. Scanlan, T.K., Stein, G.L., &Ravizza, K. (1989). An in-depth study of former elite figure skaters: 2.Sources of enjoyment. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11, 65-83.
32. Ulrich, B.D. (1987). Perceptions of physical competence, motor competence, and participation in organized sport: Their interrelationships in young children. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 58, 57-67.
33. Vargas-Tonsing, T. M., & Bartholomew, J. B. (2006). An exploratory study of the effects of pregame speeches on team efficacy beliefs. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 36, 918–933.
34. Walsh, M.R. (1987). The psychology of women: Ongoing debates. New Haven: Yale University Press.
35. Wark, K. A., & Wittig, A. F. (1979). Sex role and sport competition anxiety. Journal of Sport Psychology, 1, 248-250.
36. Weiner, B. (1979). A theory of motivation for some classroom experiences. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 3-25.
37. Weiner, B. (1986).An attributional theory of motivation and emotion. New York: Springer-Verlag.
38. Weiner, B., Frieze, I., Kukla, A., Reed, L., Rest, S., & Rosenbaum, R. M. (1971). Perceiving the causes of success and failure. In E.E. Jones, D.E. Kanose, H.H. Kelly, R.E. Nisbett, S.Valanis, & B. Weiner (Eds.), Attribution: Perceiving the causes of behavior. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.
39. Weis, M.R., Weise, D.M., &Klint, K.A. (1989). Head over heels with success: The relationship between self-efficacy and performance in competitive youth gymnastics. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11, 444-451.
40. Wrisberg, C.A., Donovan, T.J., Britton, S.E., & Ewing, S.J. (1986). Assessing the motivations of athletes: Further tests of Butt’s theory. In D.M. Landers (Ed.), Sport and elite performers. 3, 185-194. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
41. FédérationInternationale de Football Association (2007). Retrieved Dec. 15, 2010, from www.fifa.com.

2014-01-14T10:21:08-05:00January 14th, 2014|Contemporary Sports Issues, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Amateur Soccer Players and the Phenomenon of Motivation