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Dusko Bjelica1, Borko Katanic2, Marin Corluka3, Zoran Milosevic4, Ivana Cerkez Zovko3, Ivona Radojevic Aleksic5

1University of Montenegro, Faculty for Sport and Physical Education, Niksic, Montenegro
2University of Nis, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Nis, Serbia
3University of Mostar, Faculty of Science and Education, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
4University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Novi Sad, Serbia
5University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Technical Sciences Cacak, Cacak, Serbia

A Comparative Study of Motivation in Sports Training among Senior and Junior Professional Football Players in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sport Mont 2023, 21(2), 111-115 | DOI: 10.26773/smj.230717


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to the lives of athletes, particularly regarding the uncertainty surrounding the continuation of sports training and the postponement of sporting events. Given these disruptions to athletes’ routines, the role of motivation in sports participation is considered even more crucial. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the differences in motivation for sports participation during the Covid-19 pandemic between senior and junior professional football players. The sample consisted of 358 elite football players from the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The players were divided into two groups: senior (n=193, 24.87±3.78 years) and junior (n=165, 18.08±1.00 years) football players. The Participation Motivation Questionnaire (PMQ) was utilized, comprising 19 items classified into six motivational dimensions: “Sports success”, “Social status”, “Friendship”, “Physical health”, “Sports activity”, and “Support”. A five-point Likert scale was used in the questionnaire, which was administered electronically via Google Forms. Results revealed that junior football players achieved significantly higher values in only three out of the 19 items: “Want to be popular” (.005), “Want to get status” (.001), and “Wished for friendly games” (.000). However, there were no differences between the senior and junior football player groups in the remaining 16 items. Also, both groups displayed exceptionally high motivation levels in the dimensions of “Sports success”, “Physical health”, and “’Friendship”, while the weakest results were observed in the dimension of ‘Support’ for both groups. Despite the specific challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the motivation to play football remains very high among both senior and junior football players. This study is essential as it provides insights into football players’ motivation and identifies differences in motivation levels between junior and senior players. The findings can be valuable for practical purposes, aiming to enhance motivation among football players, especially during circumstances where training conditions are disrupted, such as the Covid-19 pandemic.


soccer, sports motivation, training, Covid-19 lockdown, PMQ, questionnaire, elite athletes

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