Examining the motivational determinants of enjoyment and the intention to continue of persistent competitive swimmers

Diogo Monteiro */**, Luc G. Pelletier ***, João Moutão */** and Luís Cid */**

(*) Sport Science School of Rio Maior, ESDRM-IPSantarém, Rio Maior, Portugal
(**) Research Centre in Sports, Health and Human Development, CIDESD, Portugal
(***) School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This study examined whether the motivational climate, the satisfaction of basic psychological needs, self-determined motivation, and enjoyment could explain why swimmers persisted for a period of six years and whether it could pre- dict their intentions to continue practicing swimming one more year. Multigroup analysis across gender, age-groups and years of experience were also analysed. 799 swimmers (450 males, 349 females), with ages between 12 and 22 years, completed a survey that included the proposed variables. The results support the adequacy of the final model in explaining the swimmers persistence over a period of six years and their intention to persist one more year. In sum, when coaches create a task-involving climate, this climate is conducive to the satisfaction of basic needs satisfaction. This in turn leads to more self-determined motivation, more enjoyment and more intention to continue the practice of one’s sport, independently of gender, age-groups and years of experience.

Keywords: Motivational climate, Basic psychological needs, Self-determined motivation persistence