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Title:Evaluation of Goal Setting Training on Selected Cognitions and Performance of Collegiate Swimmers
Author(s):Burton, Damon Dee
Department / Program:Physical Education
Discipline:Physical Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Physical
Abstract:Martens and Burton have recently developed a comprehensive Psychological Skills Training (PST) program designed to help athletes better reach their competitive potential. One of the most important psychological skills is goal setting. Sport researchers have linked athletes' anxiety, motivation and self confidence problems to inappropriate goals. The problem is most athletes believe winning is the most important goal. But winning is an outcome goal, and outcome goals have two major problems. First, athletes can only partially control winning because external factors often determine who wins and loses. Second, outcome goals lack flexibility and cannot be raised or lowered to make achieving success challenging and realistic. Consequently, outcome goals may cause athletes to become diffident, anxious, or unmotivated, thus preventing them from reaching their competitive potential.
A specialized PST program called Goal Setting Training (GST), was designed to teach athletes goal setting skills to overcome these problems by evaluating success based on "performance goals." This investigation tested two general hypotheses about performance goals. First, GST effectively teaches athletes to set appropriate performance goals. Second, athletes who set effective performance goals have significantly better cognitions and performance than those who adopt outcome goals. These hypotheses were tested by first subjecting a collegiate swim team to a five-month GST program and then evaluating the effects of this training program using inter-team, intra-team and case study analyses.
Results supported the first hypothesis by demonstrating that GST swimmers learned to focus highest priority on performance goals and make them challenging but realistic for their capabilities. Additionally, hypothesis 2 was also supported. Inter-team analyses confirmed that GST swimmers demonstrated significantly more optimal competitive cognitions and performance than non-GST swimmers from another Big 10 school. Moreover, intra-team analyses revealed that GST swimmers high in goal setting skill demonstrated significantly more optimal cognitions and performance than their low goal setting skill teammates, suggesting that goal setting skill is the mediating variable responsible for differences between GST and non-GST swimmers.
Issue Date:1983
Description:302 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8409878
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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