Term of Award

Summer 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Daniel Czech

Committee Member 1

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 2

Samuel Todd


Motivation, athletic identity, and commitment are constructs that have previously been addressed and researched in regards to their impact upon athletes. Each of these constructs has previously been addressed alongside one other construct but all three have not been addressed. In addition to this, research is lacking information regarding collegiate club sport athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the thoughts of club level athletes and Division I Varsity level athletes as they relate to motivation, athletic identity and commitment to sport. The participants included 12 athletes, 6 at the club level and 6 at the Varsity level. For the club level athletes, themes emerged for motivation which included (1) relationships with teammates, and (2) sport improvement. The themes for commitment were (1) personal commitment, (2) love of the sport, (3) emotional connection, and (4) major part of life. There was also a singular theme found for athletic identity with club sport athletes which was (1) sport as a part of the individual. For varsity athletes the themes that were found for motivation were (1) sense of accomplishment, (2) personal drive, (3) sport improvement, and (4) others as motivators. The themes for commitment were (1) time commitment, (2) parental influence, and (3) scholarship. There was also only one theme for athletic identity found for Varsity which was (1) importance of the athlete role. From these themes, research may be conducted to further investigate Varsity and club level athletes in regards to what motivates them, why they remain committed to their sport, and how much they identify with the athlete role. This information may be beneficial for coaches, captains, and other leadership figures in relation to athletics at these levels.

Research Data and Supplementary Material