The Pursuit of Optimal Performance: The Effect of Mastery- and Ego-Oriented Feedback on Sport Performance, Task Difficulty Selection, Confidence, and Anxiety

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Within an achievement motivation theoretical framework, there are factors thought to most heavily influence performance and task difficulty selection. More specifically, motivational climates, feedback, confidence, and anxiety have all been identified as important factors influencing outcomes within performance settings. Much of the literature in the area of achievement motivation has focused on on the effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance within academic settings and has received limited attention in the sport psychology literature within an athletic setting. Given the demonstrated effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance, the importance of performance within the athletic context, and the ... continued below

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Moles, Troy August 2016.

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  • Moles, Troy

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Within an achievement motivation theoretical framework, there are factors thought to most heavily influence performance and task difficulty selection. More specifically, motivational climates, feedback, confidence, and anxiety have all been identified as important factors influencing outcomes within performance settings. Much of the literature in the area of achievement motivation has focused on on the effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance within academic settings and has received limited attention in the sport psychology literature within an athletic setting. Given the demonstrated effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance, the importance of performance within the athletic context, and the scant literature examining the effects of feedback on athletic performance, the influence of feedback on sport performance needed to be empirically examined. The primary aim of this study was to provide a clearer understanding of the relationship of factors influencing athletic performance, with the ultimate goal of moving research toward a greater understanding of how optimal performance is achieved. As a result, this research may prove applicable to researchers, coaches, and athletes working toward optimal performance. In this study, I examined how mastery- and ego-oriented feedback influenced youth athletes' soccer performance, task difficulty selection, confidence, and anxiety. Youth soccer athletes (n = 71) participated in a soccer kicking task consisting of two trials. Between subjects ANCOVA analyses revealed athletes receiving mastery-oriented feedback performed significantly better on the soccer kicking task than athletes receiving ego-oriented feedback. No differences were discovered on task difficulty selection, confidence, or anxiety. Providing athletes mastery-oriented feedback before or after skill execution could be helpful in the development of athletic skill development and performance. Limitations of the present study and questions to examine in future research are also discussed.

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  • August 2016

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  • Aug. 31, 2016, 10:41 p.m.

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  • Oct. 25, 2016, 9:48 a.m.

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Moles, Troy. The Pursuit of Optimal Performance: The Effect of Mastery- and Ego-Oriented Feedback on Sport Performance, Task Difficulty Selection, Confidence, and Anxiety, dissertation, August 2016; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862810/: accessed December 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .