Attribution in Sports

Sophomore (College 2nd year) ・English ・APA ・3 Sources

Attribution Examples in Sports

Attribution theory tries to explain what goes on in our brains, especially an individual behaves or conducts in a positive way. When trying to understand attribution, some scenarios come into play. Instability class we have stable and unstable situations. In sports, the intelligence of a person is an instance of a stable situation, and the mood of a player is an instance of an unstable situation. When understanding locus of casualty; internal, we explore the internal elements that attribute ones’ behavior. In sports, for instance, in football, a person may play the game barring passing the ball to anyone whenever he or she gets it due to the fact of because of selfishness attributed to personality.

 In locus of causality: external, we try to understand the external factors that cause someone to behave or conduct in a certain way. These factors may be situations or events, especially those that do not come from within an individual but externally and mostly attributed to the environmental settings (Kelley & Michela 1980). In sports, a harsh or favorable environment can be used to describe external factors that beyond a person’s control and hence it is out someone’s regulation. For example, severe environmental condition such as extreme cold may render one to perform poorly in sports. In locus of control, we focus on those factors that are within one’s control. These factors can be described as the acquired behaviors and perception towards something which can be altered or changed to suit a particular situation. In sports, fear is an example of a locus of control that a player can control it.     

Helping Lucille Regain her Motivation

The case of Lucille is not unfamiliar as most of the young people tend to be more focused on success and forget to analyze the real reason behind the outcomes, especially when the results show failure. Therefore, the majority of people resulting in being remorseful and feels so disappointed since they are not meeting their expectations (Zelen, 1991). Lucille has spent long duration involving in training since she is focused on achieving her set goals of becoming the fastest, best scorer, and the most robust player. When she receives a scholarship to play division one soccer, she must have become very excited and felt as if her dreams have come true. It is also imperative to note that upon receiving of scholarship, Lucile also had other expectation. Among the anticipation she had included perfecting her running, assist, and scoring skills. All her hopes and competencies are dependent and affected by both internal and external attributions that she needs to understand critically to perfect what is within her control and appreciate and embrace what is out of her control.

The case study states that Lucile had difficult times at college since her shooting and passing skills were not proficient. This limitation affected her negatively. Nevertheless, the girl needs that perfecting her passing and shooting skills is something that is within her control. Therefore, Lucile needs to continue practicing harder to develop her abilities. It is not guaranteed that she will perform correctly and hence the reason she needs appreciate even the mistakes that she makes as perfection is not achieved overnight. For this reason, the girl should stop letting her dream become shattered, but instead become challenged whenever she does reach her targets. I would encourage Lucile to work even harder than she used and become more motivated when practicing. Additionally, the girl should avoid having a higher expectation of better results and accept and appreciate how she performs as she seeks improvement every day.

Still on the Lucile case, there some of the conditions that are beyond or she has little control over (Timothy & Martinko 2004). Lucile is found to be affected by injuries, though minor she may be having little control over them as some may take a while to heal. Consequently, the injuries affect the performance of a player as it is in the case where Lucile cannot be able to play well. The girl should hence positively take this situation and become committed to seeking treatment until when the injuries have fully recovered for her to be able to play in a good health condition. Playing time, the unwillingness of the teammates to pass, and field conditions are other situations she has little or no full control over. The best thing Lucile can do is try to speak with the team management in finding how the playing time can be adjusted to fit everyone’s schedules and talk to the other teammates on encouraging them to engage in teamwork that ensures efficient passing and appreciation of every member in the team.


It is vital to note that everyone understands attribution differently. Some people will reason in an event where a person may behave in an odd way basing their arguments on scientific knowledge attribution theory. However, some people base their reason in an irrational way. Hence, people should be encouraged not to be quick in judging and making a mere conclusion without analyzing the situations critically.


Florida State International Symposium on Attribution Theory, & Martinko, M. J. (2004). Attribution theory in the organizational sciences: Theoretical and empirical contributions. Greenwich, CT: IAP-Information Age Pub.

Kelley, H. H., & Michela, J. L. (1980). Attribution theory and research. Annual review of psychology, 31(1), 457-501.

Zelen, S. L. (1991). New Models, New Extensions of Attribution Theory: The Third Attribution-Personality Theory Conference, CSPP-LA, 1988. New York, NY: Springer New York.

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