Autonomy support facilitates team motor learning

Suzete Chiviacowsky, Luiza Borges Martins and Priscila Cardozo

Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil


Chiviacowsky, S., Borges Martins, L., Cardozo, P. (2021). Autonomy support facilitates team motor learning. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 52(2), 159-171. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2021.52.159


The present study was designed to examine the effects of practice with autonomy support over a team strategy on pairs of participants collaboratively sharing the learning of a sequential motor task. Twenty-eight 10-year-old children practiced a speed-cup-stacking task. In the autonomy-support (Choice group) condition, each pair of participants could choose which participant would perform the first (up-stacking) or the second (down-stacking) phase of the task before each block of practice. In the control (Control group) condition, the order of participants within each pair was yoked to the order of a counterpart pair from the Choice group. The movement times to jointly perform each trial were measured using a stopwatch. One day after practice, participants performed retention and transfer tests. The results showed better learning for the Choice group, with less time needed to complete the task during the retention and transfer tests relative to the Control group. These findings are in line with previous studies showing that the benefits of autonomy support on learning at an individual level extend to team motor learning.

Keywords: Children, Choice, Motivation, Team learning