The world of exercise and sport is fascinated by motivation and the factors that drive it. It’s no wonder researchers–both in and out of the sport domain–will enthusiastically welcome Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Exercise and Sport.
Motivation is central to many social psychological theories that aim to explain behavior, including self-determination theory, one of the most influential theories of human motivation developed in the last three decades. Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Exercise and Sport examines the contribution of this theory to the understanding of motivation and behavior in the domains of exercise and sport. This is the first book to synthesize key research of self-determination theory as it relates to sport and exercise into one convenient volume. Written by a broad range of leading researchers, this reference will be a trend setter in the understanding of internal motivation and how to maximize performance and adherence. Furthermore, this volume will fill in research gaps, improve existing research, and set new directions for research in this vibrant area.
Self-determination theory is based on the premise that individuals pursue self-determined goals to satisfy their basic psychological needs to independently solve problems, interact socially, and master tasks. The book begins with an introductory chapter in which the founding fathers of self-determination theory, Edward L. Deci and Richard Ryan, provide an overview of the theory and its constituent subtheories and chart its history with respect to exercise and sport, highlighting classic studies and seminal works along the way. This introduction masterfully provides sufficient theoretical grounding and serves as an excellent prologue to subsequent chapters.
The remainder of the book is organized in two parts that cover research in the domains of exercise and sport. Part Iexamines the contribution of self-determination theory to the explanation of participation in and adherence to health-related exercise, and it examines the motivational experiences and contingencies that bring about exercise behavior and health-related outcomes. The recommendation sections that follow each chapter provide specialists interested in promoting exercise–including personal trainers, clinicians, health psychologists, and physical educators–with key strategies to motivate people to regularly participate in exercise for health.
Part II discusses the role that self-determination theory plays in explaining motivational processes involved in competitive sport contexts and summarizes the state of the literature concerning self-determination theory in diverse areas of sport, including athletes’ motivation and sport performance, goal content and orientations, dropout, psychological well-being, and coaching behaviors. The recommendations outlined at the close of each chapter provide coaches, sport psychologists, sport promoters and managers, and physical educators with realistic, practical solutions to maximize sport performance, persistence in training, and, above all, enjoyment and well-being among athletes.
Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Exercise and Sport also integrates self-determination theory concepts with other theoretical frameworks to highlight the versatility of the theory and encourage future research. Each chapter in the text closes with clearly explained, in-depth suggestions for future research and for transferring findings into practice.
Whether you’re a researcher in sport and exercise or in any other area where performance and adherence issues are key, Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Exercise and Sport will leave you inspired by the editors’ and contributors’ research and philosophy, brought together here to advance the knowledge of motivation in exercise and sport.