Changes in Male Campers’ Goal Orientations and Motivation in Traditional Activities and a Sport Education Season in a Summer Camp


  • Zachary Wahl-Alexander Northern Illinois University
  • K. Andrew Richards University of Alabama
  • Nick Washburn Western Washington University
  • Oleg Sinelnikov University of Alabama



sport education, camping, achievement goal theory, self-determination theory


According to the American Camp Association (2013), more than 14 million children and adults attend camp in the United States each year. Many camps include physical activity and sport sessions and programs, some of which include program components known to contribute to positive youth development. One instructional model that seeks to contribute to positive youth growth through the development of sporting competence, literacy, and enthusiasm is Sport Education (Siedentop, Hastie, & van der Mars, 2011). The Sport Education model is designed to provide an environment conducive for students of all ability levels to be successful within gameplay. Furthermore, research suggests that amotivated students exhibit greater feelings of inclusion from peers and a positive environment of gameplay within Sport Education. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the motivational responses of campers participating in a Sport Education season of flag football to those participating in a flag football unit taught using traditional methods. The current study used a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent groups design in which the perceptions of students participating in a sport education season (n = 48) were compared to those who participated in a traditional instructional approach (n = 35) at a residential summer camp. The Achievement Goal Questionnaire-Revised (Elliot & Murayama, 2008), was used to examine campers’ goal orientations, with campers’ self-regulated motivation quantified using the Sport Motivation Scale II (Pelletier, Rocchi, Vallerand, Deci, & Ryan, 2013). The findings suggest that campers participating in the Sport Education condition possessed higher mastery-approach and -avoidance orientations relative to those in the traditional condition following the intervention. While the educational context cannot explain why the campers in the Sport Education condition reported higher mastery goal orientations than those in the traditional condition at the beginning of the season, the observation that the Sport Education condition maintained significantly higher mastery-approach and-avoidance orientations throughout the season supports previous research indicating the capacity of the model to foster a task-involving motivational climate.Subscribe to JPRA