2022 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Eric Martin


Self-determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991) indicates the fulfillment of basic needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence will influence a large number of athlete outcomes. Even though this need fulfillment is important in understanding athlete motivation at any time during their participation, it might be especially important to understand athletes’ need fulfillment when they experience challenges related to their sport. One challenge that might be especially important to understand athletes’ need fulfillment is following injury as, often, an athlete is separated from their team, loses their confidence in their own performance, and may feel like they are fully reliant on others. Further, the type of injury and the length of absence from participation might influence these basic needs. Therefore, we investigated the types of injuries athletes experience over the course of a season, the time lost from injury, and whether either of these aspects were related to the various forms of motivation. In our study, 264 collegiate athletes from a large Division I university in the pacific northwest completed a survey where they reported their injury history and time lost from injury over the previous 12 months and the Behavioral Regulation in Sport Questionnaire (BRSQ; Lonsdale et al., 2008). In total, 45% of athletes indicated they had at least one injury within the last 12 months. Of these athletes, 67 reported acute and 42 reported chronic injuries (several reported both acute and chronic). Results showed no significant relationships between motivation and time lost nor between the types of injury and type of motivation. These findings indicate that an athlete's previous injury history was unrelated to motivation type. As practitioners, it is critical to promote athlete’s autonomy, relatedness, and competence during injury in much the same way as if an injury is performing fully.



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