Running head: types and causality of motivation

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The SMS measures amotivation – motivation neither internally nor externally motivated, intrinsic motivation – motivation of highest level of self determination, extrinsic motivation – motivation from an external source. Within extrinsic motivation the continuum suggests, there are four areas of regulation: external, introjected, identified and integrated. However, some areas within the continuum have been problematic to research. Mears, Kilpatrick, Martens, and Webber (2002) suggest, amotivation and external regulation were problematic in their study of American college athletes. It is important to remain aware of flaws within models, although this model is constantly being tested.

The study will include, professional and non-professional male rugby players, where professional rugby players are described as full-time, paid athletes, of the highest profession. Non-professional rugby players are described as those participating in rugby for recreational purposes, not full-time, and not paid. All participants completed an ethics form, and signed the agreement to use their data within the study, which, was approved by the University of Glamorgan. None of the participants received any compensation for their cooperation. The participants for this study consisted of single sex (male) professional rugby clubs and non-professional rugby clubs. A total of six rugby players participated in the study. Three professional rugby players, all paid, and have represented England U16 up to U21. Two plays, in the professional league and one is studying at Loughborough University, whilst part-time professional at national league level. There were also, three non-professional rugby players, where all three, represent a local club rugby team and do not get paid to play. The age range of the participants was 20-24 years old with a minimum age set at 18.

Materials and Procedure
As mentioned earlier, the interview was constructed of two previously validated questionnaires. The questions were used in the same manner for each interview, regardless of the individual’s responses. However, each individual was asked to describe in as much detail as possible, their thoughts on each question. All the questions selected were relative to the study, such as, “why do you participate in your sport?” The interviews took place in different locations, either, the researchers or the participant’s home; they were dependant on individual specifications.

Participants were fully briefed, before the interview, of the purpose behind the research (see appendix). The participants were made aware that the interview would be recorded and then transcribed, as well as, understanding they can listen back and remove any information they wish. They were also informed that all identifying information would be removed. Each interview lasted 30-35 minutes, and all were transcribed including the interviewers and interviewee responses. Once transcribed the recording were fully destroyed.

Once the interviews were transcribed, they were, analysed by group. Figure 2, represents the professional rugby players analysis (group 1), where, confidence, commitment and selection, were the super-ordinate themes. The three themes from group 1 influence each other in some manner, where, selection is attainable through commitment, which requires confidence in ability and performance. This is reflective in Van Yperen’s (2009) study of professional football players, which mentions, to reach difficult goals requires higher levels of commitment, which in turn, leads to higher levels of performance and increased confidence. Figure 3, represents the non-professional rugby players (group 2) analysis, where commitment, confidence and enjoyment, were the super-ordinate themes. Through the sub-ordinate themes, it is plausible to suggest, both professional and non-professional rugby players share similar attitudes towards motivation. However, the sub-ordinate and other themes suggest, motives for attitudes to motivation develop through various concepts and rational.
Within the professionals theme, commitment, there were two sub-ordinate themes, income and scholarships “the biggest thing for me was getting a scholarship” (Professional A), whereas, the two sub-ordinate themes for the non-professionals was time and age. Baker and Cote (2003) argue that commitment may be the most important attribute to become an elite athlete. This is definitely shown in this study as all three professional rugby players highlighted the importance of being committed to rugby, “there are probably only six or eight playing fulltime in the premiership and 90% are playing first team basis, a lot of my friends put all their will into rugby” (Professional, A). This contrasts with non-professionals, who indicate that due to time constraints and other goals in life, they cannot fully commit to rugby. “yeah I think I got in the gym more and put on some more weight, trained harder but that’s a commitment I can’t really give because of other things I want to achieve.” (Non-Professional, A)

The motives for professional rugby players also differed from non-professional rugby players, indicating more extrinsic motivation towards their commitment in rugby. Professional rugby players highlighted the importance that, through contracts they are committed to the club, and that it is their job to play and train day in, day out. “Well, I have to be, it’s kind of my job, but I don’t mind, it is better than being stuck in an office.” (Professional B). The professionals did not mention (directly) the affects of contracts too their motivations, however one participant suggested that the commitment is too strict, “when I went away with England I was frustrated I couldn’t do anything during the day if we had a game on a Thursday or Friday we couldn’t do anything” (Professional, A).

As for non-professional rugby players, they highlighted commitment as a motivation for rugby, because they believe through other commitments such as education, to still have the urge to play for club every week requires commitment, to remain fit and healthy to. “yeah I think I got in the gym more and put on some more weight, trained harder but that’s a commitment I can’t really give because of other things I want to achieve” (Non-Professional, A).

From the analysis, it is clear that there are differences in motives between professional and non-professionals. As mentioned earlier, professional rugby players suggest that they are motivated through extrinsic rewards, such as, scholarship and contracts, whereas, non-professional rugby players exhibit more intrinsic motivations,), towards their commitment in rugby, due to there being little extrinsic rewards, “I enjoy playing it and it helps to keep fit...” (Non-Professional, B). The results indicate that the professional rugby players moved down the self-determination continuum, towards control, as they grew older. They suggested “you have to love the game and really want it” (Professional, B) to be 100% committed you, this indicates that they are also intrinsically motivated, as well as extrinsically motivated.

Reed and Cox (2007) hypothesised that, more internalized and self-determined forms of motivation would be strongly associated with motives for participation, from senior athletes. This expectation was based on Deci and Ryan (1991), Losier et al, (1993), and Vallerand and Losier’s (1999), theory of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, which, suggests that internally regulated motivation is more long lasting and predictive of overall motivation. Based on the results, they found that intrinsic and identified regulation, were strongly associated with motives for participation, such as, improved personal fitness, physical appearance, personal competence, personal enjoyment and social interactions. This is further supported by both groups, who indicated that they are motivated to participate in rugby for the same motives, “It’s great to make friends, I live with 3 other guys and we do everything together, but that can get to you sometimes... you know, that pace and lifestyle.” (Professional, B). On the other hand, the non-professionals highlighted more importance of the social benefits “Especially in rugby more goes on off the field than on it” (Non-professional, B).
The theme confidence arose from both analyses “it has also made me so confident about myself” (Non-Professional, A). However, the sub-ordinate themes suggested the motives for confidence were different between the two groups. There were three sub-ordinate themes for professional rugby players, appearance “yeah I train to look good” (Professional B), performance I trained hard to be in the best condition I could be” (Professional A), and conflict “feedback from players and coaches, to see what I have been doing well and not so well, otherwise you don’t know where to improve as a player” (Professional A). In contrast, the non-professional sub-ordinate themes were appearance, “a lot of it is to do with appearance I have to look good to feel good” (Non-Professional B) and social life “I feel I can be myself in social situations” (Non-Professional, A). It appeared, again, that through the analysis, both professional and non-professional rugby players, they exhibited confidence, as an important part of their motivation towards playing rugby “A lot of it is to do with appearance I have to look good to feel good, when I look good I feel confident in myself.” (Non-Professional, B). However, the sub-ordinate themes indicate, again, a difference in the causality of confidence. For professional athletes confidence came from appearance and conflict, where conflict would initiate a behavioural reaction, increasing self-esteem “good atmosphere in the changing rooms, there is good banter, you know it’s a big thing you are playing somewhere you enjoy against somewhere you don’t enjoy so much.” (Professional, A).

Both groups also indicated a relationship between exercise and self-concept/esteem, “keep in shape, look good, secondly if I didn’t do it I would feel bad, about not doing it... I would get bored.” (Professional, A). There are verifications on the definitions of self concept and self esteem. Self concept can be conceptualized as the view we have of ourselves, and represent the core, of our personality, and identity like “who am I”. Self esteem, is the evaluative consequence, of self concept, and can be defined as the aspect of self, that includes affective components like “how do I feel about me?” It has been theorised and supported, that exercise significantly enhances self concept. Shavelson, Hubner, and Stanton (1976), suggest, that general self concept, is conceptualised within a hierarchal model in an educational perspective, which is also affected by physical self concept. The hierarchy, flows from the general, to academic, and non-academic self concept, into sub-areas which generates a behavioural change. The importance of the non-academic self-concept consists of, social, emotional and physical self-concept; all three of these concepts are highlighted in the analysis of both professional and non-professional rugby players. Physical concept can be described as physical ability and physical appearance; this relates to this study as, exercise plays a role in the physical appearance which alters physical self-concept.

In relation to self-esteem, Sonstroem (1984) evaluated a hierarchal model that was specifically designed to exercise. Tertiary constructs determined secondary constructs and secondary constructs determined perception of primary constructs. The model consisted of a global self-concept, physical self-concept, domain level, sub-domain level and physical self-efficacies. There were four sub domain levels, sport, condition, body attractiveness and strength. The physical measures may affect self efficacy, which in turn, affects physical competence, leading to either: global self-esteem or physical acceptance. This model also relates to the participants at both levels as they indicated rugby, fitness, “I guess I generally exercise because I enjoy it” (Non-Professional, B), appearance “I can also lose weight and tone so I look good” (Non-Professional, B), and ability as areas of importance to their confidence, in motivation, within rugby.

As mentioned earlier, appearance was a huge factor that influences both professional and non-professional rugby players. They felt through looking good, exhibited more self-confidence in social status and rugby performance, through increases in fitness and muscle growth, performance increased, which in turn increased self confidence/ exception, “A, to feel good about myself, B to not in a pompous way – to look good, looking good is part of feeling good and self confident, C, for my sport obviously” (Non-Professional, A).

The participants indicated that “looks”/ body image and its links to exercise, are caused through, various constructs, which have been found in other research, such as, media (Strelan and Hargreaves, 2005), culture and gender (Pickett, Lewis and Cash, 2004), and health (Lawrence, 2002). Body image is an individual perception of self and how an individual acts towards that perception (Strelan and Hargreaves, 2005). Exercising for weight loss, body tone and attractiveness has, previously been related to, disturbed eating, body dissatisfaction, reduced body self esteem and poor psychological well being, such as, depressive symptoms (Pickett, Lewis and Cash, 2004). In relation to this information, the participants would become less confident in themselves if they were to stop playing rugby, or, exercising.

View on body dissatisfaction, has changed since 1972-1996 from 15% to 43% of the population (as cited in Strelan and Hargreaves, 2005). Previous research has mainly focused on women and body esteem. However, recently, research has looked into the perceptions of men, and men have become increasingly concerned about their appearance. A study by Strelan and Hargreaves (2005) found that self-objectification in men, was significantly related to appearance, as a result of exercise. This newly adopted approach has been induced by the media, and the influx of health magazines, such as Men’s Health and fashion giants Vogue, proposing an “idealised” body. The search for the idealised body is an increasing concern that may affect rates of and reasons for exercise. Men and women, who exercise for appearance as a response to perceived objectification, experience lower body esteem. Reasons for exercise, are most likely to, explain the relationship between self-objectification and body esteem, is individual motivation to exercise to improve appearance. From Strelan and Hargreaves results, it is possible to suggest that the participants within this study, who self objectify, tend to view exercise as a means of responding to perceived socio-cultural pressure, to achieve an “idealized” body. However, Strelan and Hargreaves did not account for other reasons to exercise, where other reasons to exercise, may lead to positive individual motivation, through confidence. The effects of body image in relation to sport participation in rugby, (where physical size is important for increased performance) have not been conducted, as results of this study indicate, participants don’t just exercise for self-objectification, they exercise to increase performance whilst remaining healthy. This could be an important influence in sport psychology and is an area for future research. The results of this study suggest that both professional and non-professional rugby players, also, exercise for health benefits, and more importantly to improve as a rugby player. “I would definitely be bored without it.” (Professional, B).

Selection/ Enjoyment
For the third, super-ordinate theme, there was a difference, between, professional and non-professional attitudes towards their motivation in rugby. Professional rugby players highlighted the importance of selection, as a key motivator, whereas, non-professionals highlighted enjoyment, as theirs. Within the professional theme, selection, there were two sub-ordinate themes, communication and performance, whereas, friends and communication, were in the non-professional analysis. “I listen to my dad if he says I played well I will feel that I have had a good game, I also have my own kinaesthetic feedback telling me if I had a good game or not, in terms of coaches their opinions are very important as their the guys that pick the team, and team mates as well in that environment, it’s kind of balanced” (Professional, A). Professional rugby players reported that through constant feedback off coaches and peers, the participants understood areas that needed improvement, as well as areas that did not. Through communication, they can assess their performance and increase it in training. All three participants indicated when performance increased, team selection increased, as well as coach communication.

Short and Short, M (2005) emphasise that the relationship that exists between a coach and an athlete has a tremendous influence on the physical and psychological development of athletes. This can be seen within this study as communication, also, allowed the participants to consider their future in rugby. For example, one of the rugby players wasn’t playing well towards the end of their contract, and then, his coach took him to one side every training session, guiding him in areas for improvement. In the last three games of the season the player came on as a sub and played well, he was praised and full of confidence and started the last two matches and was offered a new contract. “I was thinking of just quitting, but my coach’s faith and help, helped me realise how good I was” (Professional, B). It is important to note that when the participant was not playing well, they became more motivated, yet, if the contract had not been renewed he would have become de-motivated. Selection becomes an important part of professionalism, and external regulator for professional rugby players, as it constantly alters individual behaviour and mentality towards their participation in rugby.

Within the non-professional rugby player’s analysis, enjoyment for rugby was a key issue in their motivations. They had similar, yet, different incentives to professional rugby players as communication was an important role in their motivation, but most importantly was, friendship, especially from a young age, “it’s just so fantastic meeting so many people especially in rugby” (Non-Professional, A). As mentioned in Coleman, Cox and Roker (2008), the benefits of regularly participating in physical activity, through casual or organized participation seeking social relationships, are well recognized. This is important as the awareness of physical and recreational activities need to be made more available to the population. “I just feel so great inside that nothing can bring me down, it’s a feeling I only get in sport and I get it a lot in rugby” (Non-Professional, B). Modern society has a decrease in social interaction, within, the youth population. One of the issues rising from de-socialisation is that schools tend to concentrate on providing short term recreational and activity skills, rather than providing young people with the attitudes and social skills that enable them to organise, select and participate in chosen sports or activities, during and after school (Mundy and Odum, 1979).

Through the qualitative analysis, the triangulation of data may have been limited due to the themes only being assessed by the researcher. Within the methodology, the triangulation strategy was used to detect themes within each transcript, throughout the analysis. The analysis consisted of analysing the major themes and others that may have affected individual motivation; however this was only analysed by the researcher and not from an outsider’s perspective. This could have influenced the themes obtained from the transcripts (see, Walkerdine et al, 1998).

As mentioned in Braun and Clark (2006), the ‘key-ness’ of a theme is not necessarily dependent on quantifiable measures - but rather on whether it captures something important in relation to the overall research question. For this study, the practical implications of all themes were relative to both research questions: What motivates professional and non-professional rugby players, as well as, why they are motivated towards their participation in rugby. The study found that professional rugby players exhibited more extrinsic motivations than non-professionals. The incentives for each participant’s motivation came from the sub-ordinate themes, which highlighted the super-ordinate themes. To relate these findings to sport, it is important to understand the motivations of individuals to reach maximum performance. For example, appearance was a reoccurring that induces self confidence, which in turn improved performance. Hollembeak and Amorose (2005) found that athlete perceptions of motivations were used and assessed correctly by coaches, which in turn increased the coach-athlete relationship, as well as the athlete’s performance. In relation to Hollembeak and Amorose (2005), this study can suggest, a coach may incorporate, healthy eating programs and regular gym sessions that increase physical strength as well as body image, for maximum performance. This supports the findings of Muscat and Long (2008), who found that the athletic involvement was associated with greater frequency of self-objectification and negative body image when not training, however, they found no association to behavioural changes such as, eating disorders, compared to non-athletes.

It is important to note that research for this study was done on team based sport. Present research indicates that there is a difference in team sports and individual sports/ exercise. Physical activity ranges in diversity, most research in motivation is designed for physical activity, which focuses on exercise behaviour, and ignores sport participation (Kilpatrick, Hebert, and Bartholomew, 2005). Kilpatrick, Hebert, and Bartholomew (2005) compared motivations for sport participation versus exercise among college students. The results indicated that participants were more likely to report intrinsic motives, such as enjoyment and challenge, for engaging in sport, whereas motivations for exercise were more extrinsic and focused on appearance, weight and stress management. The findings suggest that motives for sport participation are more desirable than those for exercise and may facilitate improved adherence to physical activity recommendations. Future research in the differences of motivation between professional and non-professional athletes may look into the possible differences of motivation, in team and individual sports/ exercises

To further support this, it is possible to suggest that through professional participation, individuals may become more separate from their team-mates due to the competitiveness of the environment, such as team selection. Nicholls and Polman (2007) found that the England U-18 rugby team, indicated a wide range of stressors experienced by individual players, such as, making a physical error, receiving criticism from their coach/ parents, making a mental error, injury, and observing an opponent play well. The latter is representative of competition within a team, and indicates a separation from one another.

A weakness within this study, did not account for gender differences. However, women’s motivation for rugby may be socially impaired as mentioned in Ezell (2009). Ezell (2009) found that women who were successful athletes at high school, but unable to compete at varsity level, in their chosen sports, turned to rugby. This would have detrimental effects to their motivation of participation in sport as they are not playing a sport in which they initially desired. This can be related to this study as the influence of parents proved to effect the participation of non-professional athletes, causing them to focus on other aspirations, such as, education. Ezell (2009) also mentions that the women’s rugby team found themselves stigmatised by outsiders as “butch lesbians.” Through the social lifestyle of women’s rugby, pressure increases in abundance, relative and not relative to performance. The causality of female motivation in rugby has not been studied, but can relate important information to gender differences between males and females motivation in rugby.

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