The purpose of this study was to provide more insight into how the physical education (PE) context can be better tailored to the diverse motivational demands of secondary school students. Therefore, we examined how different constructs of student motivation in the context of PE combine into distinct motivational profiles, aiming to unveil motivational similarities and differences between students’ PE experiences. Participants were 2,562 Dutch secondary school students, aged 12–18, from 24 different schools. Students responded to questionnaires assessing their perception of psychological need satisfaction and frustration, and perceived mastery and performance climate in PE. In order to interpret the emerging profiles additional variables were assessed (i.e. demographic, motivational and PE-related variables). Two-step cluster analysis identified three meaningful profiles labelled as negative perceivers, moderate perceivers and positive perceivers. These three profiles differed significantly with regard to perceived psychological need satisfaction and frustration and their perception of the motivational climate. This study demonstrates that students can be grouped in distinct profiles based on their perceptions of the motivational PE environment. Consequently, the insights obtained could assist PE teachers in designing instructional strategies that target students’ differential motivational needs.