Motivation counteracts fatigue-induced performance decrements in soccer passing performance

J Sports Sci. 2019 May;37(10):1189-1196. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1548919. Epub 2018 Nov 24.


Recent theories suggest that negative effects of fatigue on performance are determined by perception of effort and motivation rather than being directly caused by reaching physiological limits. In the current experiment, the influence of motivation on fatigue-induced decrements in soccer performance was experimentally investigated. Sixty amateur soccer players performed a validated soccer-passing test before and after a fatigue protocol. Results showed that players' motivation and performance decreased after the fatigue protocol for players in the control group. In contrast, players in the motivation group (i.e., with motivation experimentally induced after the fatigue protocol) were able to uphold their motivation and increase their performance. These results indicate that motivation plays a crucial role in performance under fatigue, as fatigue-induced decrements in soccer passing performance can be counteracted by high levels of motivation. Future research may explore the limits of this counteracting effect and extend findings to other relevant performance aspects.

Keywords: Fatigue; effort; football; perceived exertion; task disengagement.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletes / psychology*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology
  • Athletic Performance / psychology*
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Soccer / physiology
  • Soccer / psychology*
  • Young Adult