Project M.O.T.A.R: Motivation Towards Athlete Recovery
Social contagion is an important phenomenon that looks at the spread of ideas, attitudes and behaviours in a group through imitation and conformity (Colman, 2014). To date, this phenomenon has received limited research attention in sport settings. The purpose of this study was to understand the role of social contagion on motivation of athletes, athletic therapists and coaches in the process of injury recovery. Using a multiple groups, post-test only, randomized experimental design (Trochim, 2006), data was collected from participants (N = 145) on a single occasion. A Multivariate Analysis of Variance, as well as follow-up Analyses of Variance revealed significant differences between groups in perceived Athlete Interest in Therapy (p < .01), perceived Positive Behaviour Change (p < .01), perceived Therapist Interest (p < .01), and perceived Therapist Efficacy (p < .01). The results showed that intrinsically motivated athletes and therapists scored higher in terms of perceived Interest and perceived Behaviour Change. A difference was also found when athletes were extrinsically motivated and therapists were intrinsically motivated in terms of perceived Behaviour Change, but not perceived Athlete Interest, compared to when both were described as extrinsically motivated. Overall, these findings imply that motivational orientations of the therapist during injury recovery therapy have no influence on athlete motivational orientations in terms of overall interest in athletic therapy.