Fear of failure and perception of the motivational climate under the coach pressure


The motivational climate perceived by players is a psychosocial process that has an impact on how they adjust their psychological response to performance situations with greater or lesser efficiency and balance. The aim of this study was to identify distinctive profiles of fear of failure and basic psychological needs in young handball players according to perceived motivational climate (mastery vs. performance). It examined differences in the distribution of gender and age and satisfaction of basic psychological needs and fear of failure within each profile. The study participants were 681 young (M = 16.16 years; SD = 0.92) handball players. A battery of scales adapted to Spanish was administered to measure motivational climate, fear of failure, and basic psychological needs. Central tendency, correlational, cluster, and comparative analysis (multivariate analysis) were applied to determine two profiles (Cluster 1 vs. Cluster 2). The Cluster 1 was characterized by those players with the highest values in the perception of a mastery climate, and the Cluster 2 included those players with a mixed mastery/ performance climate. The results may provide relevant information suggesting that a climate high in mastery and low in performance is preferable to a climate that is moderately high in both dimensions. They are useful to coaches in designing and adjusting training programs so that their athletes can enhance resources under balanced psychological efforts that reduce discomfort and flight, thus improving adaptation skills to coping with competitive demands and pressure.

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