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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-26

Perceived performance goal barriers of Olympic athletes: An exploratory study

Department of Movement Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Greg Sun
Department of Movement Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjsm.sjsm_11_20

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Background: Goal pursuit is not without its challenges because athletes may encounter barriers along the way. Moreover, these barriers may or may not produce positive affect in the setting of goals or performances. Therefore, this study explored the perceptions of Olympic athletes and their experiences encountering performance goal barriers. Materials and Methods: A qualitative methodology was used to collect data from participants using semi-structured interviews. The interviews focused on their goals and goal setting including the barriers they perceived during their athletic career. These interviews served as the major data source and generation of the relevant themes. The purposefully sampled participants who agreed to be interviewed were scheduled according to a date and time that best suited their calendars. Participants were seven male individual sport Olympic athletes, representing four sports. These elite athletes competed in a total of 10 Games. The average age at their first Olympics was 25.1 years old. Results: The analysis indicated that participants reported experiencing injury as their primary barrier. Participants did not mention facilities or equipment as a potential barrier. Furthermore, although they encountered barriers, they were reluctant to modify their long-term goals by remaining committed to their goals. Conclusion: Research findings revealed that coaches, athletes, and strength and conditioning staff should pay particular attention to training and competition schedules that may initiate or aggravate injury. Moreover, all sports personnel should be cognizant that athletes can experience stress due to injury or illness. Therefore, goal setting should include planning and strategies to collaboratively deal with potential barriers.

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