Goal-setting Revision, Effectiveness, and Frequency in the Multi-event in Track and Field
Linda Keeler, Western Washington University, USA
Theme: Mental training/interventions
Poster Number: 124
Program ID: POS-2
Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Goal-setting as a performance enhancement technique in sport has been supported in the literature (e.g., Burton et al. 2010; Kyllo & Landers, 1995); however, limited research on sport specific goal-setting has occurred. One unique sport that warrants a focused investigation is the multi-event in track and field. Given the decathalon and heptalahon are multiple day competitions with several distinct individually-scored events with multiple breaks throughout the day, there is a wide range of ways in which goal-setting could be utilized. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived effectiveness and frequency of goal-setting and goal-setting revision techniques utilized by multi-event athletes in track and field. Goal setting is a technique that can improve the well-being of the athlete by increasing motivation, confidence, skills and performance of an athlete (Locke & Latham, 1985). The goal-setting frequency and goal-setting effectiveness subscales of the Collegiate Goal-Setting in Sport Questionnaire (Burton, Weinberg, & Yukelson, 1991) was completed by 44 intercollegiate decathletes and heptathletes. Additional questions on goal revision practices were included, which were developed from a pilot-study focus group. Multi-athletes reported using goal-setting sometimes/frequently, perceived goal-setting to be somewhat effective, and revised goals sometimes/frequently. Goal revision was found to occur in a variety of ways and most often between events (47.7%) and after the completion of day one (59.1%) due to accomplishing an initial goal (54%), previous performance (47.7%), other competitors (40.9%), injury (38.6%), and weather (38.6%). There were no significant difference between men and women. Goal revision techniques (e.g., 54.5% of revision was from a point total to podium placement) was not always consistent with goal-setting practices that would enhance performance, motivation and confidence. Recommendations will be provided to maximize the benefits of goal-setting for the athlete.