Feel the Pressure: Stress and Intrinsic Motivation in Collegiate Swimmers

Rosalyn Stoa – University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
Jana Fogaça – University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
Logan Johnsen – University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

Using the concepts of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation from self-determination theory, this study investigates the relationship between stress and motivation in collegiate swimmers. This longitudinal study examined the intersection of stress and motivation athletically and academically over the course of a collegiate swim season. Participants were asked to complete five surveys over time measuring their stress and types of motivation. We used a generalized estimating equation analysis with types of motivation as the independent variable and stress as the dependent variable. Results indicate that intrinsic motivation does not predict stress overtime, but external regulation does. Intrinsic motivation significantly changed over the course of a season, with the lowest point happening at the peak of the season. A hierarchical regression revealed that coaching characteristics explained 11.7% of the variance in a motivation, with coach likeability being a significant and negative predictor of a motivation.