Being involved in a sport (team or individual) can offer numerous benefits for an athlete, such as physical and health advantages. Yet, some athletes strive for more than physical and health benefits. Some athletes strive for sport achievements and mastering sport techniques and skills. According to the achievement motivation theory, athletes are motivated for the need of achievement and striving for perceived high ability (i.e., achievement behavior). Achievement Goal Theory (AGT) proposes achievement motivation is a combination of achievement goals, achievement behavior, and perceived ability, and achievement behavior. Additionally, achievement motivation can be manipulated by achievement goal orientations. Achievement goal orientations include: task orientation (mastery approach goals) and ego orientation (performance approach goals). A systematic review was conducted to examine the predictive relationship between achievement goal orientations and pre-competitive anxiety. After organizing findings across studies through grouping and clustering and thematic analysis the following was found: (1) athletes with task orientation (mastery approach) and ego orientation (performance approach) did not significantly predict pre-competitive trait anxiety or pre-competitive state anxiety. Although the current study did not find achievement goal orientations as a predictor for pre-competitive state anxiety, based off an existing gap in the literature, future research should explore various evidence-based interventions and clinically appropriate interventions that may be suitable and effective for athletes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Achievement motivation; Motivation (Psychology); Athletes; Anxiety

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Faculty Advisor

Judy Ho