Contemporary perspectives of achievement motivation have been based on social cognitive theories which give motivational climate a central place in the regulation of subsequent affective states, cognitions and behaviour in achievement contexts. This study examined the relationship between different profiles of the motivational climate in teamsport and achievement, and socially related cognitions among Norwegian team sport athletes. Players (N= 148) assessed their perception of the motivational climate using the Norwegian version of the Motivational climate in sport questionnaire, sources of satisfaction in team sport, achievement strategies, perceived purposes of sport, and conceptions of ability. Multivariate analysis of variance (2x2) showed both main effects for profiles of the motivational climate and an interaction effect. Athletes perceiving the climate as high in mastery and high in performance oriented criteria reported psychological responses that were more adaptative than those perceiving the climate as low in mastery and high in performance criteria. With one exception, the findings showed that those high in mastery and low in performance were more likely to emphasise self-referenced criteria when judging perceived ability in team sport. For both social responsibility and lifetime skills as purposes in sport, it was the high performance and low mastery athletes who were least likely to endorse these purposes. And importantly, the high mastery climate seemed to moderate the impact of being in a high performance climate. The pattern of findings suggests that perceiving the motivational climate as performance oriented may not be motivationally maladaptive when accompanied by mastery oriented situational cues.
Based on Ames' conception of situational goal structures, the present study investigated whether achievement-related cognitions and affect were related to specific motivational climates. The participants were 148 experienced students in team sport at a Norwegian university who responded to a questionnaire on their perceptions of the motivational climate in their sport, use of learning strategies, satisfaction, sources of satisfaction and perceived purposes of participating in sport. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that the perception of the motivational climate as either mastery- or performance-involving was related to reporting of affect, achievement strategies and perceived purposes of sport in a conceptually consistent manner. Controlling for dispositional goals, regression analyses, in which the athletes' dispositional achievement goals were controlled, showed that perception of a performance-oriented climate emerged as a negative and unique predictor of satisfaction or interest in addition to the variance accounted for by ego orientation. Athletes who perceived the motivational climate as mastery-oriented endorsed mastery as a source of satisfaction, and were less inclined to report avoiding practice. In addition, athletes who perceived the climate as mastery-oriented believed that sport may develop lifetime skills. In contrast, perceiving the climate as performance-oriented was positively related to status as a perceived purpose of team sport. Our findings suggest that, when athletes perceive the sport climate as task-involving, it facilitates the adoption of adaptive learning strategies, the use of controllable criteria to determine satisfaction, and enhances perception of sport as being important for developing lifetime skills.