Grounded in self-determination theory, this study examined the implications of differentiating between within-person weekly changes and between-person differences in average levels of autonomy support and internalized motivation for one’s self-esteem and self-efficacy. Thirty-nine adults who were socially disadvantaged and unemployed completed weekly questionnaire assessments over 11-weeks of a sports-based educational program. Multilevel modeling revealed that within-person changes in perceptions of autonomy support positively predicted identified regulation and introjected regulation; however, between-person differences in perceived autonomy support predicted identified regulation only. Within-person changes in introjected regulation positively predicted global self-esteem and self-efficacy towards future employment in coaching; however, between-person differences in introjected regulation negatively predicted self-esteem and self-efficacy. In contrast, within-person changes in identified regulation, as well as between-person differences, were positively associated with self-efficacy. Between-person differences in identified regulation also positively predicted self-esteem. It was also demonstrated that many of these contrasting relationships are hidden if the different processes are not disaggregated. As a result, we propose that different internalization processes exist which depend on whether within-person changes or sustained levels of motivation are explored.