Authors:1Kimberly S. Fasczewski, 1Paige N. Bramblett, 1Landry K. Bobo, 2James Peterman, 1R. Andrew Shanely
1Department of Public Health and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA
2Fisher Institute of Health, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA
Kimberly S. Fasczewski, PhD.
Department of Public Health and Exercise Science
Beaver College of Health Sciences, 1179 State Farm Rd
Boone, NC 28608-207
Understanding written message framing, motivation, and performance in competitive cyclists
Purpose: An athlete’s motivation and sport performance is impacted by their environment, including the interpersonal relationship between athlete and coach. What messages the coach conveys, and how those messages are received, can impact performance. Conveying messages via controlling message framing (dictating goals and outcomes) or informational/supportive message framing (providing information and recognizing effort) may impact the athlete’s perceptions of the environment and alter motivation, thus impacting performance. Endurance sports, such as cycling, require high amounts of self-determined motivation due to the duration and solo nature of training. Often the primary interaction with the coach is through online written communication. As such, the goal of this study was to explore the impact of written forms of controlling and informational/supportive message framing on motivation and performance in trained cyclists. Methods: Using a crossover design, 11 amateur competitive cyclists (9 Male, 2 Female; age 43.6 ± 10.3 years) were randomly assigned a written training protocol containing either controlling or informational/supportive messages and describing a specific workout with a goal of participation to exhaustion. Perceived competence, perceived autonomy, motivation, and performance (time to exhaustion) were measured for each trial. Results: No significant differences were found in perceived competence, perceived autonomy, motivation, or performance between controlling or informational/supportive conditions. There was a significant correlation between pre-task competence valuation and post-task perceived competence (r = -0.738), and autonomous motivation and time-to-exhaustion (r = -0.674) in the controlling condition. Additionally, a significant correlation was seen between perceived competence and perceived autonomy (r = 0.666) in the informational/supportive condition. Conclusions: A relationship does exist between written message framing and motivation. Motivation and performance may be increased by using informational/supportive messages in written communication with athletes. Application in Sport: Coaches must be aware of the impact communication has on athletes even when using online platforms. These interactions should be considered an important part of the coach-athlete relationship. For optimal athlete motivation and performance, coaches should focus on creating well-designed workouts that include detailed written information using supportive wording.
Keywords: (coaching, endurance athletes, online, Self-Determination Theory, cycling)(more…)