From AGT to SDT, from athletes to coaches: refocusing the study of sport motivation


  • Saul Alcaraz
  • Miquel Torregrosa
  • Carme Viladrich
  • Yago Ramis
  • Jaume Cruz


The present research describes how the study of sport motivation has evolved over the last three decades. Two main trends are observed. On the one hand, the theoretical framework most used in the study of sport motivation has changed from Achievement Goal Theory (AGT) to Self-Determination Theory (SDT). On the other hand, in the recent years researchers have begun to analyse not only athletes’ sport experiences but also coaches’ sport experiences. In this paper, we briefly present AGT and SDT and then we move on to review the research conducted by international and Spanish groups that we find important to understand how the study of sport motivation has been developed. In addition, we present how the Grup d’Estudis de Psicologia de l’Esport (GEPE) has adapted to the changes described. Finally, we offer avenues for future research in the field of sport motivation.


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