What motivates young athletes to play sport?

Christopher M. Spray (Lead Author), Victoria Warburton

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Motivation is a key factor in young people choosing to play sport outside of school. For example, when playing sport, you could be concerned with getting better at skills, or you might be more focused on being better than other athletes. Moreover, you could choose to take part in sport because you enjoy it, or you could participate because your parents say so. In this article, we explain these two ways of looking at motivation—one that is all about the goals you strive for, and the other that is all about your reasons for taking part. Sport scientists have used these approaches frequently to understand motivation in youth sport and to promote more rewarding experiences. To stay in youth sport longer, it is better if you want to improve yourself rather than to out-do others, and better if you want to be involved rather than feeling forced to participate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number686291
JournalFrontiers for Young Minds
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022

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