The purpose of the study was to examine the perceived effect of motivational tools on student-athletes performance in some selected tertiary institutions in Lagos state.

A total of one hundred and twenty respondents were selected from two tertiary institutions in Lagos state using a stratified random sampling technique to select sixty student-athletes from Lagos state university and university of Lagos.

 The study adopted a descriptive research design and the instrument used for data collection was a self-structured questionnaire. The data collected were analyzed using simple percentage and chi-square (x2) 0.05 level of significance.

Two hypotheses were stated and both were rejected. The findings revealed the following:

  1. Financial incentives have significant effect on student-athletes performance in Lagos state tertiary institutions.
  2. Non-financial incentives have significant effect on student-athletes performance in Lagos state tertiary institutions. 








Title page                                                                                 i

Certification                                                                                      ii       

Dedication                                                                               iii

Acknowledgment                                                                     iv

Abstract                                                                                   v

Table of content                                                                       vi – vii



1.1 Background to the study                                                   1 – 7

1.2 Statement of the problem                                                 8                

1.3 Purpose of the study                                                         9

1.4 Research questions                                                           9

1.5 Research hypotheses                                                         10

1.6 Significance of the study                                                   10 – 11

1.7 Delimitation of the study                                                             11

1.7 Limitations of the study                                                     12

1.8 Operational definition of terms                                          12 – 13







2.1        Concept of sports and competitive sport                        15 – 17  

2.2        Student-athletes as a special population                       17 -  18

2.3        Concept of motivation and types of motivation              18 – 24

2.4        Factors which can affect athletes motivation                 24 – 26

2.5        Changes in motivational orientations                             26

2.6        Satisfaction of needs and motivational strategies           27 – 30

2.7        Concept of rewards and incentives                                 30 – 31

2.8        How motivation enhances sports performance                         32 – 33



3.1        Research design                                                             34 – 35

3.2        Population                                                                      35

3.3        Sample and sampling technique                                    35

3.4        Instrumentation                                                             35 – 36

3.5        Validity of the instrument                                              36

3.6        Reliability of the instrument                                          37

3.7        Procedure for data collection                                          37

3.8        Procedure for data analysis                                            38




4.1 Data analysis                                                           39 – 43



5.1 Summary                                                                           44

5.2 Conclusion                                                                        45

5.3 Recommendations                                                    45 – 46

References                                                            47 – 50

Questionnaire                                                       51 – 54








Sport is a formalized phase of play and games. It is an organized, competitive, entertaining, and skillful activity requiring commitment, strategy and fair play, in which a winner or loser can be defined by objective means (Harper, 2008).


Sport is an incredibly important contributor to human nature in our society. It has developed to become a powerful political and social tool used for the advancement of societies around the world. Sport at any level will replace the necessary competitive edge in an individual and kindle the fire of dedication and hard work.


Sport in educational institutions is one of the oldest traditions in higher education. To this day, most institutions of higher education have intercollegiate sport programmes which means that a large number of students–athletes exist on campuses (Michael and Nancy, 2004).

Many developing countries in which Nigeria is one, have been relatively successful in international sports. Nigeria’s success is notable in various international sports and this makes it imperative for the country to start thinking about how to improve and sustain the performance of her athletes for continued success right from the tertiary institutions.

Biddel (2004) suggests that, athletes who are well motivated are more likely to continue participating than those who are not well motivated. He further stressed that, a highly motivated athlete would be more eager to give a better performance than a lowly motivated one with same skills.

If an athlete is not in a positive psychological state, mistakes will be made in the performance and he/she will not perform at the best level (Woods, 2007).

The impacts of tertiary institutions sport in Nigeria has come under increasing focus in recent years especially when comparison is made between them and those in United States of America, England, Australia, China etc where it is believed that such institutions make constant research into sports performance of world standard.

However, the not too impressive level and poor performance of student-athletes in Lagos State tertiary institutions are boiled down to the type of motivational tools been used and its effect on their performance, particularly when valued by the recipients.

These tools influence motivation in student–athletes and increases participation, interest, development, skill acquisition and quality of performance.

These tools can be regarded as rewards or incentives (financial or non-financial). Financial incentives includes bonus, cash donations from sponsors, monetary allowance for athletes in training camp etc. Non-financial incentives include scholarship, insurance policy, material gifts, medals, awards, verbal or non-verbal encouragements (praises, smile), trophy tours, public recognition, media recognition etc.

It is appropriate for youth competitive sport to include rewards or incentives just as they are included in higher level of competition. It is essential for administrators and coaches to provide athletes with support / reward for their self-referenced achievement.



These tools mentioned above seems to be important to both learning and performance of skills because it relates to the amount of encouragement and remuneration received for taking part in sporting activities (Lawler, 1992).

In April 2002, Delta State Government reward its coaches and athletes for  coming second in final medals table of the 13th National Sports Festival in Edo State and made some promises ahead of the 14th National Sport festival in Abuja. This appreciation in anticipation motivated the athletes and they eventually came first in Abuja 2004, final medals table (Vanguard, 2004).

Mshelia (1990) opines that talented student–athletes in West African universities require incentives like money, scholarship, insurance policy, media recognition, material gifts and presents to keep them active in sports.

Eniola (1998) attributed that student-athletes should be provided with financial incentives for participating in one sports or the other because it goes a long way in motivating the athletes. The athlete may see it as a means of settling other monetary responsibilities.


Athletes feel secured and safe when they are covered with a life assurance or accident relief insurance policy. Since it has been said that whoever participate in sport is already taking a risk of being injured or death (such as the case of Samuel Okwaraji of Nigeria, Marc Vivien Foe of Cameroon and Dani Jarque of Spain), provision of insurance policies for athletes is of paramount importance.

Athletes are well motivated to participate in competitions when they are rest assured that if they sustain any injury they will be taken care of. Also, with the provision of insurance policies, athletes have the instinct that their future is bright and in the case of any accident in the course of participation, they will not be neglected by the authorities or organizers in charge. Tartary institutions should acquire group accident insurance for their athletes because the intensity of competitive sports is very high, thus higher risk is being taken.

According to Onifade and Fasan (1991), athletes provided with gifts and presents as rewards for a certain performance will strive hard to perform better in subsequent competitions. Gifts and presents given to athletes for qualitative performance motivate other upcoming athletes to emulate or even supersede them. In 2003, Enyimba international Football club of Aba, Nigeria, won the CAF Champions league, and the players and coaches were given a car each. This motivated the players and coaches’ even better that they won the competition in the following year. Other gifts and presents used for motivation include phones, electronic items (T.V. D.V.D etc) beverages, sporting equipments etc. These gifts and presents sometimes come from sponsors or philanthropists.

Athletes can also be motivated by match bonus and goal bonus. Match bonus is given to every member of a team after winning or drawing a match, and it is sometimes given even when they are defeated depending on the circumstances or after the performance of the team has been evaluated. On the other hand, the bonus given for goal scored either goes to the team or the player that scored the goal. Bonuses are financial incentives because they are usually paid in cash.

Media recognition via print and electronic media companies plays a significant role in sports. Journalist tends to report and telecast athlete or athletes that are performing well in competitions and this goes a long way in motivating athletes to put up a high performance in any competition.


Athletes that are on top of their game usually appear on the pages of newspapers and attend live sport programmes on radio and T.V stations, locally and internationally. Media assessment propagates the athletes to concentrate on the sport in which they partake in, knowing fully well that poor performance will be criticized by the media and quality performance will be praised which will in turn increase the value of such athlete locally and internationally.

Awarding of scholarship is also an important motivational tool in tertiary institutions for student-athletes. It is the most common way of motivating student-athletes that performed well in inter-tertiary sport competitions. Most tertiary institutions award scholarship to student–athletes that return from inter-tertiary sports competitions (NUGA, WAUG, WUGA) with a medal. These scholarships take care of their tuition fees for that academic session or subsequent ones.

All these incentives or rewards were meant to boost and sustain the performance of this special population called student-athlete in sports competitions organized for tertiary institutions. This study therefore, shall investigate the perceived effect of motivational tools on student-athletes performance in some sleeted tertiary institutions in Lagos State.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM                                                      

This study seeks to examine the variational influence of motivational tools (financial and non-financial incentives) on student–athletes performance, since it has been generally established over the years that motivation influences athletes’ performance.

To some people, athletes are better motivated to perform when the factors involved are internal i.e. from within, such as determination to win, will power to excel etc while some other people  are of the opinion that external motivational factors such as rewards or incentives (financial or non-financial) motivate athletes better.

Therefore, the problem of this study is that there is no clear cut as regards the influence of internal and external motivational tools on student-athletes performance. In this regard, the study shall investigate the influence of these motivational tools on student–athletes performance in some selected tertiary institutions in Lagos State.




1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY            

The purpose  of this study was to show the perceived effect of motivational tools such as bonus, cash donations from sponsors, monetary allowance in training camp, scholarship, insurance policy, material gifts and presents, awards, verbal or non-verbal encouragement , public recognition and media recognition on the performance of student–athletes in some selected tertiary institutions in Lagos State, as well as the techniques and strategies to be employed in preparing the athletes for a desirable performance.      


(1)    Will financial incentives have any effect on student-athletes performance in some sleeted tertiary institutions in Lagos State?  

(2)    Will non-financial incentives have any effect on student-athletes performance in some selected tertiary institutions in Lagos State?




The following hypotheses were tested in the study:

(1) Financial incentives will have no significant effect on student – athletes performance in some selected tertiary institutions in Lagos State

(2) Non-Financial incentives will have no significant effect on student-athletes performance in some selected tertiary institutions in Lagos State.


This study is an addition to existing knowledge in the field of sports, and physical education. It also serves as a basis for further studies as regards the influence of motivational tools (financial and non-financial incentives) on athletes’ performance. The study will be of great benefit to sport managers and coaches as well as administrators as it will reveal the extent to which the above mentioned motivational tools influences athletes performance. Moreso, the institutions, and sports councils shall also find the results of this study as a timely springboard to approach the management on obstacles impeding the performance of their athletes in inter-tertiary competitions such as Nigeria Colleges of Education Games (NICEGA), Nigeria Polythecnic Games (NIPOGA), Nigeria University Games (NUGA), West Africa University Games (WAUG) and World University Games (WAGA).



This study was delimited to:

(1) Two selected Lagos State Tertiary Institutions

(a) Lagos State University, Ojo

(b) University of Lagos, Akoka                                                                        

(2) Perceived effect of motivational tools on student-athletes performance in the above mentioned institutions was sampled through questionnaires.

(3) One hundred and twenty respondents were selected as sample for the study.  

(4) The subject of the study included student-athletes (male and female) in each of the institutions

(5)Data were collected by the use of self-developed questionnaire.




The respondents felt bored in responding to the research instrument (questionnaire) due to its quantity because it contains two sections (A and B) but the researcher ensured that he persuaded them to patiently respond to the questionnaire.



ü Goal: An object of effort, target of achievement over a period of time.

ü Success: An accomplishment or achievement of purpose

ü Student-athlete: Refers to students who combine sports participation and their academic undertakings in tertiary institution.

ü Performance: This refers to the measure of achievement in training and competition by an individual or team or institution in terms of quantity and quality of output.    

ü Motivation: The force setting a person into action and sustaining it until a particular target is achieved.

ü Sport: A competitive situation of a formalized phase of game.

ü Inter-tertiary sports: This implies various academic institutions for their students.

ü Tools: These are incentives (financial and non-financial) used to boost and sustain the performance of students –athletes during training and competition.

ü Technique: Methods of performance, it is the strategy used in teaching certain skills.    

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