Practice and Play as Determinants of Self-Determined Motivation in Youth Soccer Players

MSL research field: 
TitlePractice and Play as Determinants of Self-Determined Motivation in Youth Soccer Players
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHendry, DT, Crocker, P, Hodges, NJ
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Date Published01/2014
KeywordsExpertise, Football, Youth development

Based upon predictions derived from the Developmental Model of Sports Participation, we tested whether hours in domain specific play (self-led activities) and practice (coach-led activities) during childhood (~5-12 yr) in an elite group of youth soccer players from the UK (N=144) were related to motivation. Independent analysis of three different age groups (Under 13, 15 and 17 yr) did not show relations between play and practice activities during childhood and global measures of motivation. However, secondary analysis showed that when controlling for years in soccer, years in the UK Academy system were negatively related to global indices of self-determined motivation and positively related to controlled motivation for the oldest players. Despite predictions, there was no evidence that play during childhood was positively related to more self-determined motivation. Prospective research is recommended to enable more robust conclusions about the role of early developmental practice activities, especially early specialization in a high performance system, on both skill and psycho-social development.

Short TitlePractice, play and motivation in soccer
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Full Text