Another area of importance, that may have affected the results of this study, was the levels of professionalism and non-professionalism. The results match the research questions and hypotheses, but this may have been influenced by the extremes of the two groups. Previous research suggests that there is a relationship between income and professionalism, which in turns reflects motivation to participate in sport. Rosen and Sanderson (2002) mention that there is a variation in wages, between starting professionals and experienced professionals, more importantly, new players differentiate themselves by their work ethic and abilities to learn. For instance, sometimes more speed and determination from young players can have large effects on winning. Future research may look into the motivational differences within a single team, be it, professional or non-professional, as motivational differences could differ between a team. An example of this could be age; one of the professional rugby players suggested that, as you get older you become more focused on the contract and income.
This study has indicated that there is an overall conception of motivation to participate in rugby, yet, there are individually different motives, as to why athletes are motivated to play rugby. The obvious fact that the study suggest there is a difference between professional and non-professional rugby players, which, allows further research to look, in more depth, the causality of motivation within other fields of sport, age and gender. It also suggests that coaches of different levels should understand and embrace the abilities and aspirations of the athletes – especially non-athletes if they have other focuses in life. The communication between coach and athlete is representative of the athlete-coach relationship, indicating the importance of trust, respect and support of each other to increase coaching and athlete performance.
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Appendix Interview Questions 1. Hi, my name is Sam Booth and I am conducting this interview as part of my qualitative research into the motivational differences between professional athletes and non professional athletes. Can you confirm for me that you have signed the ethics form confirming permission to use your data as part of this research?
2. Could you tell me of your sporting achievements so far?
3. If you were beginning a training program how would you view it?
4. If were told to keep an exercise diary how would you view keeping one?
5. If you were participating in a new routine, how would you know, if you’re doing well?
6. If you were performing badly and started to miss a couple of training sessions and started to lose motivation what would you do to re-motivate yourself?
7. How would you go about improving, would you goal set?
8. If a health councillor came to you and gave you a load of options over fitness. What would your approach be to it?
9. What would motivate you to work harder at it?
10. Why do you exercise?
11. Why else might you exercise, like exercise outside of rugby if you didn’t play rugby?
12. Has sport and exercise been a large influence in your life?
13. Why do you practice your rugby?
14. Are you interested in learning more about the rugby?
15. Have you ever had any doubts about playing rugby?
16. Do you think you can succeed further?
17. Did your opinion change?
18. Is your sport a social influence for you?
19. Would you say it has helped, develop you, as a person?
20. Have you ever felt pressured into playing rugby?
21. What would make you consider staying at a professional/ non-professional level?
Transcripts Interview – non-professional 1
I: Hi my name is Sam Booth, and we are here to conduct an interview as part of my dissertation on motivational differences between professional and non professional rugby players. Can you just confirm you have signed all your ethics form for me please?
P: Yes, signed done, done. (Laughs)
I: lovely, could you please tell me of your sporting achievements so far?
P: achievements… err. One of my earliest achievements was U19 south east colleges, I was put through to the trails to represent south east colleges, and then erm I got sought west trials but basically I was quite fortunate, because some of the guys were bigger stronger and better than me on the day, but one of the players got injured so I got to go to Wolverhampton, and trial out for England colleges. And managed to score a try , and played well over the two days, but I think because of my size I didn’t get into the England colleges team which was a bit gutting, but that was one of my achievements. Erm I also rate quite highly of playing for the Uni rugby team, I really enjoy it it’s a good standard. I get a lot of the ball which you don’t really see a lot of in club rugby as a winger, so yeah they two of my biggest achievements.
I: cool, nice, going into a training program like erm if you were beginning one how would you view beginning it
P: erm, what in terms of my motivation towards a training program?
I: erm yeah, like how would you view it and what would your take be, on it?
P: right erm… if I was starting a new one, just like the gym, if I am on my own accord I’m like right where will this take me how will it affect my future because I know from experiences and other peoples experiences erm getting involved in a new training program is hard because you don’t see much change very quickly, and after a few weeks I lose all motivation and stop. (Laughs) so you know that’s one of those things I need to get on, like maybe get a training partner.
I: would you consider getting an exercise/ training diary?
P: erm... if I were to play at a higher level say maybe national division I think I would as I would be ridiculously motivated to be the best, striving to keep my position, so I definitely would keep a day to day diary of what I eat and how much I train.
I: during a new routine how do you know if you’re doing well?
P: well I definitely get support from my parents, they would tell me if I’m doing well, encourage me and motivate me to do a lot, encourage me with lifts and stuff, my own personal feelings about it I would be very intrinsically motivated to talk to myself and use that as a guide to how I’m doing.
I: say you play rugby, and in training and games you begin to perform badly, so you start to miss training sessions, how would you re-motivate yourself?
P: I think I would take apart my performance and see what I did well and what I did badly and focus on the negative areas and work on them like maybe go to the gym, I wouldn’t want to let my team mates down or my family so that would motivate me as well make sure I get in the gym training field and work on the mistakes, but if the mistakes didn’t go away and I wasn’t improving then I think I would definitely become de-motivated and stop playing.
I: right. Ok. You mention if you didn’t improve; how would you go about trying to improve.
P: as I said before you know, going to the gym, getting stronger and faster, training harder, basically some goal setting here and there in terms of setting myself standards for games, and making sure I complete so many tackles in a game, just ways to improve my performance other than that I’m not really sure.
I: right, no other techniques?
P: erm… no not really.
I: cool fair enough. Erm… say if a health councillor came to you to give you loads of different options towards fitness, how would you take on an approach to that?
P: I would be very welcoming with it, because I’m not great at all that just because I know that I’m not all there in terms of my health and it would be awesome to have some kind of health intervention, to improve my daily intake of foods and stuff like that and that might in turn improve my performance as my body would be of optimum condition.
I: would you say then that’s all down to you being a non-professional?
P: definitely, at professional you have guidelines on what to eat when to train. Everywhere and I would definitely stick to one if someone gave me one, but I’m not that much into the sport as I could be its hard to stick to a routine and daily diet, so yeah I would welcome it.
I: great what would motivate you to work harder? Especially in a competitive environment.
P: definitely a one to one meeting where someone would sit down with me telling me what I can achieve, where I could play and how well I’m doing or where I need to improve, I would feel as though there is a goal to strive for and hopefully achieve more.
I: we are going into some really simple questions now but please give as much detail as possible. Why do you exercise?
P: a number of reasons really. 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. But like when I come out of the gym on a big session I feel really good.
I: so you exercise to be a better player?
P: yeah definitely, it enables me to make bigger hits and hit bigger players you know, being my size I don’t hit as hard as I could.
I: what about outside of sport, say if you got injured and couldn’t compete in sport again?
P: I definitely would exercise for the feel good factor and to look good; if I couldn’t compete it would be a big blow to me.
I: right ok, so has sport and exercise been a large influence in your life? Go from when you were young and explain.
P: yeah definitely it started off when I was young and playing lots of sports it’s just so much fun, even more so socially. You know you meet all these new people, well players and they become your friends and you meet them all the time, and as you get older it really becomes a large part of your life, you know like the whole team would go out, not always getting on it, but like team bonding, and some people can be lifelong friends. It has also made me so confident about myself, I feel I can be myself in social situations and I think if I didn’t have sport I wouldn’t be able to do that.
I: so why do you practice your sport? Pleasure or because you have to?
P: it used to be all for pleasure, from like just before college, all I did it for was for the fun, banter and have a great laugh, but at college it got more serious and performance analysis comes into play and now I really have to practice my skills, and at university I have to get a lot bigger so train more, so it went from playing for fun with friends to being serious and it meant I concentrated more on my performance, practicing kicking and stuff. Now I have to strive for more.
I: just generally when you’re a professional it’s in your contract to perform well as you’re not earning what motivates you to perform well?
P: a bit of both in a sense that sometimes there is a lot of pressure to perform but I don’t really know that, I just know that when I perform I feel great about myself and it makes me want to move on and improve. It’s all internal I am just happy to play well, and it’s nice to get told you do well.
I: are you interested in learning more about the sport
P: yeah in terms of my rugby brain, to be more aware of the game and situations, and execute the right skills, so I could possible achieve a state of flow, to reduce my mistakes.
I: have you ever had any doubts about playing rugby?
P: yeah definitely, especially when I was 15-16 I found everyone was growing and I was too small to play rugby so I decided to take up tennis, and give my body a chance to grow, so yeah I doubted it because of that, I also thought about it through injuries, should I carry on playing it is it worth it?
I: great, so do you reckon you could achieve more in rugby?
P: 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.
I: do you ever feel before you wanted to do other things?
P: yeah I did, when I was younger though everyone wants to play for country, but I never really concentrated on rugby that much because of the way I was brought up, and focusing on academics more so than sport. But maybe I could see myself in a couple of years when I have more free time to train, playing for a team I never thought I would.
I: cool, I wanted to say a really rubbish rugby team but went brain dead (laugh). So how is your sport for your social influence, I know you mentioned it earlier, just say a bit more.
P: it’s just so fantastic meeting so many people especially rugby, I don’t really know about other sports like tennis is very much an individual sport and didn’t meet that many people.
I: and it has helped you to become who you are?
P: yeah it really has it gives me the self confidence to be who I want to be and that’s all I want to do.
I: have you ever felt pressured into participating into sport?
P: not really although my day did pressure me to play tennis, but he never pushed me to do it he just says like I wish you carried on your tennis, but both my brothers played rugby I didn’t want to break the rugby trend.
I: ok so like would you just be happy to stay at an academic question or pursue rugby
P: that’s a hard question, obviously I finish Uni soon and I would have to go out of my way to join a rugby team and high level rugby teams are quite away from my home, so it’s a question of if I want to do that.
I: do you want to do that?
P: that’s the thing I’m still young I want to go travelling somewhere do things with my life, find myself a little bit, it just depends on where my heads at, I’m 22 now and running out of time to go into it I think, so I would be happy to settle playing for a local team for social needs.
I: what’s your opinion of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of people and amotivation, do you know amotivation?
I: right well you have intrinsic motivation which is for yourself, internal guidance, then extrinsic motivation which are rewards externally, and amotivation which is a state where you lose motivation as you don’t improve and believe what your doing has no outcome. Erm what are your opinions of those in sport from a non-professional and your view in professional.
P: well that’s hard for rugby, because the players I play with it’s a motivation in yourself and perform for the team, there is no real grasp for rewards, whereas professional you have some players who just want money for example Olli Barkly who goes from club to club, to get the most money possible and the players going to France, they must do it for the money and reward which is a bit gutting for those who want to play for the love of the sport, but I bet there are so many opinions about it.
I: yeah like in professional you are constantly in a competitive environment, most professional athletes are externally motivated in a sense that there is always competition to achieve, if achieving doesn’t happen then you would get dropped, do you think age is an issue here?