Running head: types and causality of motivation



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P: yeah definitely you can see in the new young rugby players are who really perform well to get into the team showing burst and passion for the country, whereas the older players have become complacent within their roles, it’s the same in non-professional where some of the older players just play for money and don’t give it their all thinking their too good for the club. But then again everyone must have that inner desire to participate in sport otherwise they wouldn’t do it.

I: all done, cheers bud, thanks for taking part

P: it’s alright.


Interview – non-professional, B.

I: ok hi, my name is Sam Booth and we are about to conduct and interview for my dissertation on the motivational differences between professional and non-professional athletes. Can I just ask you to confirm that you have signed the ethics form?

P: yeah… done it.

I: cool let’s start, could you tell me your sporting achievements so far?

P: yeah sure, is that just in rugby or other sports?

I: everything really, but focus on your rugby, the more information the better. (Laughs)

P: right… well for rugby I play canter for my local club, I have also represented my county, and north midlands u20. In regards to other sports I have played, County, for badminton and football.

I: that’s good.

P: yeah.

I: so if you were to begin a training program what would your thoughts be of it?

P: well it depends on the program, in the sense of it being in training I would be enthusiastic to get stuck into it, especially to please the coaches as I want to keep my place in the 1st team line up. But if it was a program that affected me outside of rugby, I don’t know like if it took too much time then I wouldn’t be able to focus on my academics, and I probably wouldn’t participate in it.

I: right so if you were to keep an exercise diary how would you view that?

P: well… I think it would be a way of monitoring myself, it would be interesting to see if it shows me I improve, I don’t really know as I have never kept one for rugby. I have one at the gym I go to and I am guided by a trainer all the time and in that sense its really good because I get a lot of encouragement when I do well and when I keep going, and if I stop going for a bit then he rings to see why (laughs), it is a good way to keep on track I’m sure that it would do the same in a rugby sense.

I: ok so you kind of mentioned this a little just, but how would you know if you were doing well in a new routine or training program?

P: what do you mean, like trainer and coach wise?

I: well generally how do you know if you’re doing well do people tell you or do you feel it?

P: ahhh… ok. Well as I said my trainer at the gym helps a lot with encouragement and when I do well he praises me, but then again that is his job, but also my coaches and manager are really good at the club, they are constantly talking to all the players which is really good for us. They tell us if we’re doing good, and what we can improve on,, not just individually but as a team, so in that sense they help a lot, in letting me know how I’m getting on.

I: ok, so now the opposite, if you were performing badly and started to lose the motivation to train how would you go about trying to reverse that and become more motivated?

P: hmmm. I suppose if that was the case I wouldn’t have my 1st team place and would be benched, so that would re-motivate me to get out there. I don’t like the training part that much but I love games, so I think if that happened I don’t know what I would do, because I don’t like the full on physical contact in training and that sounds quite bad from a rugby guys perspective but, I don’t want to get injured for no reason, at least in a game there is a need to win. So I would try and train harder but I’m sure my coaches would take me to one side and ask me loads of questions like what’s up? And is everything alright outside of rugby, they would try and help me get back no matter what the problem would be.

I: ok then so in more detail how would you go about improving?

P: well, of course I would talk to the coaches and they know I don’t like the physical contact in training so much, but they would want me to get stuck in more, and depending on what they want I would have to do to get my shirt back. As for myself I’m sure I would train extra hard in fitness terms, get a little stronger, a little faster and try to improve on what I’m good at to get myself going again and once I have done that then I could focus on the harder tasks, but of course I would need the help of others like my team mates and coaches.

I: nice, so let’s say a health councillor came along and introduced a load of new fitness options what would your take on that be?

P: erm… would it affect me outside of rugby?

I: well yeah for example a new diet that you would have to stick by which would help improve your overall fitness and stamina.

P: ah ok, well it would depend again on if it was something the coaches set up or I would have to do myself. I am generally a healthy person I don’t like to get fat but I do like a lot of junk food, and if I was told to do it individually I don’t think I would, but if it was part of a team thing then maybe I would, but I don’t know if I could stick with it because rugby isn’t everything to me. I enjoy playing it and it helps to keep fit, but I think a health councillor would be a little too far.

I: what would motivate you to work harder at it?

P: probably, erm… id say if it was for a serious occasion, like if I received a trial for the England squad (laughs) or my team wanted to really go for promotion and become a well recognised national team, then maybe I would do it because it would have an outcome, there would be something that we are all striving for, and want to achieve. It would also make me look and feel a lot better, so there would be some good benefits from it, but as I said it would take a lot to get me motivated to change my personal life.

I: ok so now some simple questions, but please give as much information as possible.

P: cool

I: why do you exercise?



P: well it is a simple question that will get a big answer. I guess I generally exercise because I enjoy it, I enjoy the benefits from it, like if I want to I can get big and strong, I can also lose weight and tone so I look good. There is so much to do with exercise that I just enjoy knowing how it can affect me, like now I don’t want all the muscle so I exercise a lot more to lose size and slim down. 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. I also think it’s good for my health, I don’t smoke and don’t drink much and when I drink I feel as though I’m cheating on my exercise do you get me?

I: yeah.


P: well, I enjoy being able to run for miles, it gets me away from a lot of things, it’s the same in rugby, I build up a lot of aggression outside of rugby, and when it comes to a game I can release it all in tackles and everything, it allows me to run faster and stronger and in that sense it is also makes me feel great on a rugby field as that’s when you get a lot of praise from others.

I: interesting, so has sport and exercise always been a large part of your life?

P: definitely, sport has always been my biggest love, I’m not that great academically but that’s an area I need to work on to get a job and money. But I always loved playing sport, any type, I would play from a young age all sports at private school as it was part of our daily activities, and the older I got the better I got, I found myself to excel in a lot of sports and it was really a choice of what to pursue, I was offered great places for athletics, football, badminton and rugby, but at about 13 I chose football, I played really well, I was approached by a professional team but then I broke my ankles at 15/16 when the contracts were offered, and they took them away.

I: ouch that’s bad.

P: yeah it affected me a lot because I thought I would become a professional footballer and never have to worry about my education so I didn’t focus too much on it, but through the injury I stopped playing sport until I was 17/18 and I didn’t want to play football anymore and went into rugby, it was here where I really enjoyed the lifestyle, the social side, the people are a lot nicer and kinder to you, and my club is great and I have played ever since. It is because of my injuries that I don’t like full on contact in training, as I know at anytime I could do some real damage and because of that I won’t take it further.

I: that’s a shame. So why do you practice your rugby?

P: I enjoy it, I enjoy the feeling of hitting someone hard in a game, I enjoy that feeling when you get a try, 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. But that is different in training ha-ha, as I don’t want to hit my own team mates as hard as I hit others. You see I am renowned for my big hits, I think because I’m so scared that if I go in half at it I would get injured so I go into every tackle with everything I have. I have knocked 3 people out so far in 4 years, only in games of course, I don’t want to do that in training. But when you get a hit like that it feels good.

I: are you interested in learning more about the sport?

P: erm… well it’s hard to say as I would love to take it on further and become a professional but I have it in my head that it’s not stable, especially because of the injury, and through this I want to learn more academically. However it does help in training and it is nice to hear the points and tips of the coaches, to improve our skills and the execution of them. But we mostly do fitness (laughs)

I: (laughs) so this question may sound silly now, but have you ever had doubts to play sport?

P: yeah, ha-ha. I really considered not participating in any sport after my injury, when I broke my ankles, I did it one after the other, so I broke my left one, and in my first week back in training I broke my other ankle and I was thinking why me, perhaps this is a sign to stop playing sport and concentrate on other things like academics, but through my time out of sport and rehabilitation I missed it, I missed being fit and healthy and confident in myself and my abilities, and realised that sport gives me all those. So I went into rugby thinking at least there isn’t much chance of my ankles breaking here (laughs)

I: (laughs back). So when did you change your mind? And do you think you could achieve more?

P: well, easy really I was so bored from being out of sport through my injuries that I wanted to start again. It just feels right to play sport and when I do I’m always happier more so when I play rugby because it’s just so much fun. And yeah I reckon I could do more in rugby, I have been told by my coaches that I have the potential if I put the timing in. The problem is, is that I want to study and start a career, in a stable job so there are the 2 reasons I won’t.

I: has your sport been a significant part of your social life?

P: definitely yes. Especially in rugby more goes on off the field than on it, and it’s just great to have that fun with others. Me and my team mates always go out together, we train together and some of us study together, so through rugby I have made some great friends. I think it would be fair to say it has given the opportunity to meet new people and do lots more things. But I do have friends outside of rugby.

I: nice, and do you think it has helped you develop as a person?

P: well yeah I think I have a weird situation where my problems changed my path, and through my problems I am who I am now, and I wouldn’t be playing rugby, I wouldn’t be studying so it’s definitely helped me in that sense. I also think that rugby is a sport that allows you to build respect, and honour. So there are skills that can be transferable, definitely sport in general and rugby for me.

I: cool, so have you ever felt or been pressured into doing sport, or rugby?

P: as in my pressure or by other people?

I: both really.

P: ok… erm… I have no pressure by my parents, for them I do as I wish, they don’t really play a part in the sport side of me as they are both academics and don’t see it as worthwhile, so from them it’s always been the other way round (ha-ha). I think that’s partially why I’m doing academics too. For myself I do apply a bit of pressure, I like playing rugby as it allows me to blow off steam, if I have a bad week then come Sunday I will feel a lot better, so I pressure myself to make the team to keep this up.

I: ok then, generally though I have been asking a question out of curiosity, what is your opinion on the motivational differences between professional and non professional rugby players?

P: that’s hard to say really as I don’t know from a professional prospective, I can imagine that being paid to play rugby would be like an extra bonus for doing what you love, but I can also see it as a career choice and the only way of an income due to the time it takes up. It is also very risky as professionals could take a big blow and be forced to quit so I really don’t know what to say I think professionals would have a lot more to lose if they started to do badly, which would increase the amount of pressure on them. As for non-professionals I know that to some of the players, they do it for fun and some just do it because they don’t know any different. Rugby was their life, like a player on our team he was a professional and got injured and doesn’t know anything else so now he plays here to try and keep it up, but he always says he wished he had a backup plan.

I: wise words I think, well thank you for taking part.

P: no problem, anytime.

Interview – Professional, A.

I: ok were recording. Hi, my name is Sam Booth and we are 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?

P: err... yeah I signed it, it’s cool to use it.

I: could you please tell me of your sporting achievements so far?

P:er… playing rugby, in terms of who I play for and who I play, I would say my best representations would be England u18, south west u18, Colstons 1st for 2 years with my scholarship, playing at Twickenham, currently playing with Leicester, part time during Uni, training 3 times a week and a game.

I: so... if you were beginning a training program how would you view it?

P: I think it would depend on what type of training program I was doing say if I was doing a gym program where I was trying to improve my strength and power I have been doing it for quite some time so I would be confident to set up my own program. Erm if it was something slightly more technical in terms of speed work, maybe my flexibility or recovery from injury then I would seek professional advice, for example: err I pulled my hamstrings a couple of years ago, erm that’s something I haven’t any expertise in, and in terms of setting up a program in rehab that is somewhere where I went to an expert to sort an exercise program out. I am confident really in setting up my own sort of programs.

I: good, good, if were told to keep an exercise diary how would you view keeping one?

P: I think my perspective of exercise diaries I think they can be used well, for example when in a gym it helps to show improvement over time, however in other things rugby training is a lot more generic and harder to measure and don’t really have a plan, if you have made improvement you document what you do and its very subjective, I think my opinion overall is very mixed, depending on activity.

I: if you were doing a new routine how do you know if you’re doing well, do you have support from your family or others or do you take your own personal accounts.

P: I think I will use another example in rugby my family are there for every game and 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, my parents have always come to watch and support me, and when there not there I find it odd. Using a different example when I’m in the gym I like having someone with me analysing my technique professionals, brother and of course myself opinion.

I: 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,

P: ok, I would always say I have always been motivated, unless it’s a good reason I don’t miss training, I don’t usually miss them if I do feel I am performing badly if I had a bad game, unfit, coming back from injury I will work harder to get back to where I should be playing. If there is 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.

I: how would you go about improving, would you goal set?

P: I don’t think , I think this it is something I need to look at, rugby wise I have never done goal setting, in terms of what I wanted to achieve very generic goals, when I was a school boy I wanted to get capped by England, which I did, before that I wanted to get a scholarship to Colstons I did that, there are other things I wanted to do, I wanted to play professionally, but my outlook on that has changed a bit I am a bit happy to be playing how I am now, erm… but I think I do need to goal set more I have targets of where I want to play, where I want us to be in the league, how many times I’m starting, how fit I am, how many reps I do in a gym, but I think in actual specific terms making them more measurable realistic and specific time scales that is something I need to look at and introduce more goal setting myself.

I: that’s good, erm. If a health counsellor came to you and gave you a load of options over fitness.

P: that very much depends in what field their from?

I: erm... let’s say health psychology. And your club has hired them to come in and discuss with the players their health outside of the club and the benefits it would have on them if they were to change their routines, how would that affect you and what would your initial thoughts be?

P: erm... I think I would definitely be interested in what they would have to say, on a personal scale I think I am pretty healthy I eat well I don’t go out drinking that much I train cardio and weights for an overall benefit. Err...If someone came to me offering advice personally, I think an important thing is they have to kind of gain your trust. First of this is the same if someone is a physio or weight trainer, or a health adviser, using a physio as an example, I think players from my experiences, always lean towards people they have used before because they trust them and the same goes with a health advisor you want to see someone who has benefitted from them before, you want to see some benefits and see how they will help you improve, and if you improve then they have your trust and what they say will be more valid.

I: erm, what would motivate you to work harder at it?

P: properly if I was going on holiday in the summer (laughs), in terms of sport if I have a big game coming up; I am from Loughborough University, in the events leading to that I trained hard to be in the best condition I could be. Erm... in the slightly longer term that is something I need to work on and maybe look at how I can prepare myself to those sorts of events.

I: moving to some more simple questions, why do you exercise?

P: I exercise, to keep fit, good muscle tone and to keep fit, and I guess also rugby is a very social event so you do make good friends with a 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.

I: err. Ok. Why else might you exercise, like exercise outside of sports if you didn’t play rugby?

P: yeah I definitely would, like to keep in shape and look good, secondly if I didn’t do it I would feel bad, about not doing it, and thirdly I think I would get bored, I think I would hate to be sitting in the house and as I say it’s good social whether it’s at the gym swimming or wherever its good socially for you and I would definitely be bored without it.

I: has sport and exercise been a large influence in your life?

P: I have been lucky I have been paid (professional) since I was 17, erm. As I said before I played for England that meant travelling abroad playing Italy and France, I was capped, and I think this has definitely influenced me and the biggest thing for me was getting a scholarship to a school where I could never really afford and it was good for my rugby and academic development. The results I got there I could never have got anywhere else, the results got me into University where I am doing very well. Some of the skills you bring from the pitch can be transferred to a working environment like leadership motivation skill communication how well you work in a team self drive how mentally tough you are, I think these are all skills you can adapt in to any environment. Are we about half way through?

I: uh huh. Right then, ok so why do you practice your sport? Would it be for pleasure?

P: yeah I play for fun, to keep fit, I also get paid well, and it gives me something to do?

I: are you interested in learning anything more about the sport?

P: I think to get better at any sport you have to learn more by listening to people who know more and yeah I’m interested in that.

I: have you ever had any doubts about playing sport?

P: yeah I did I was doing a lot of travelling over the country and not enjoying my time in the team, I was working at Uni and I wasn’t sure I had time to do it but now I play for a team closer to Uni I’m happier there, and I think if I had left the sport I would miss it and come back to it later.

I: that’s how I feel, do you think you can erm succeed further

P: erm... that’s a hard question for me to say, the best way to look at it people I know who I have played with from my year alone are full time from Colstons and England team there are properly only 6 or 8 playing full time in the premiership and 90% are playing 1st team basis, a lot of my friends put all their will into rugby, so if it was something that came up again I’m not sure if I would,

I: when did your opinion change?

P: (laughs) good question, I thought you might say that. Erm… 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, I wasn’t sure that was what rugby was going to be like full time, I guess you could compare it to an office job and the hours and life style is better but It wasn’t for me, also when I was offered my first full time contract the money wasn’t as good as I thought it would be when you get offered full time. The money wasn’t really there so I thought University was the best option and playing part time is best for me now allowing me to go back into it if I want knowing I have a back up.

I: very wise man, how about your sport do you think of it as a social influence, say for example, meeting new people, going out?

P: I think rugby is the best example for social atmosphere, I think people who support rugby are different too like there all different to football, we have nights out together, sometimes fancy dress, we always go for food together outside of training on the Thursday, and it gives you more options allowing you to meet new people.

I: would you say it’s helped you develop as a person?

P: I have always been quite confident, but when I got offered my scholarship to Bristol it changed me u had to go move out of home at 15, so you have to grow up pretty quick, I think some of the things I learnt there changed me, living with the rugby boys you have to build good relationships which is good for later in life, team work, getting on and sticking to strategies, and work round things.

I: have you ever felt pressured into doing your sport?

P: not really no, I think if I didn’t play my parents would miss watching me, but never pressured, I mean once I went to school and I got my scholarship, if I didn’t play it would have been taken away, the coaches did pressure me into playing when I had an England trial on a Sunday, they made me play on the Saturday and I wasn’t fit for the trial although I was lucky enough to have been put through. I don’t think it is anything I would have done differently as I wanted to play too.

I: when you were at school, what were your motives for playing rugby?

P: high school or college?

I: start young.

P: I was actually a swimmer, I played all sports and tried things I enjoyed the most and played what I was best at, as I grew up I chose rugby as I felt comfortable playing it and had talent for it, when I was 16 – 17 I thought I was good enough to make it, I thought it would be a good earner too, for longer and more intensity, also to keep fit.

I: what would make you consider staying at a professional level?

P: I think it is what other people think of you, and how you play, juniors play every year and maybe 1 from each age group will make it, it is very difficult, you have to be massively motivated and put everything second, in the short term it may not make much money, but people have had lucky breaks through persistence, but it’s down to other people.

I: I think we’ve covered everything now, thank you.

P: that’s alright did you get everything you needed?

I: yep were good thanks for taking part.

P: anytime.

Figure 2: Professional analysis.



Super-ordinate theme

Sub-ordinate them

Confidence

Conflict, Performance and Appearance

Selection

Communication and Performance

Commitment

Income and Scholarship

Figure 3: Non-Professional analysis



.

Super-ordinate theme

Sub-ordinate them

Confidence

Appearance and Social Life

Enjoyment

Friendship and Communication

Commitment

Time and Age


University of Glamorgan

Observer: Ross Hall/ Peter Mayer
Subject: Undergraduate Dissertation
Study title: The motivational differences between professional and non-professional rugby players.
Background Literature:
Many athletes experience physical and psychological pressures during the course of a season, as a result of; training, rehabilitation, injuries, possible defeat (Gould 1982), and competitive stress and anxiety (Nicholls and Polman, 2007). These, external pressures require great endurance from the athletes, both; physically and mentally, season after season. Constant pressures, which fall upon athletes, may affect their motivation towards their sport. From this, both, coaches and athletes underestimate the importance of motivation within their sport (Gould, 1982). Through research in professional practice, it is plausible to assume that professional athletes face stressors more often than non-professionals (Taylor and Wilson, 2005).
Purpose of Participation:
You give consent that information provided by yourself is accurate and correct. You also acknowledge the information provided is to the best of your knowledge, and the data is allowed to be presented within the paper. Your identity will remain anonymous, but your profession level will be discussed.

Researcher Signature: ................................



Participant Signature: ................................



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