Lack of sufficient physical activity in youth is a worldwide concern. School-based extracurricular sports activities (SBECSA) are considered a central opportunity to increase youth physical activity. However, the factors that influence students’ participation in SBECSA are not well established. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to clarify the factors perceived to influence the motivation of Japanese students to participate in SBECSA. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 junior high and high school students who participated in SBECSA. The KJ method was used to qualitatively analyse the transcribed interview data. Internal/intrapersonal factors included: attraction of sports; sense of responsibility and continuity; spirit of challenge; sense of advancement and physical condition. External factors included: team climate; encouragement and support; attributes of peers; policy and content of coaching; content of practice; events in school life and weather.
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