Last week we looked at the types of motivation there are and your choices that tell us about your personality, your emotional reactions and your achievement behavior (what you are like in a competitive situation). This week we are going to look a little deeper at some of the types of motivation and what can make this tool available to all for a more, to create a more successful individual. Hang on to your thoughts this week we’re going really deep!!
Let’s take Shane as an example to kick things off. As most of you know he has a deep-seated love for rowing that goes all the way to his college days and first putting on a rowing suit, picking up an oar and finding his place in a team that eventually would go to national finals.
What motivated him to do this cannot be defined by any one singular motivation alone, however it is necessary to have an understanding of the two types of motivation that provide a basis for what we can call ‘self determination theory.’ Simply put, self determination is the result of both intrinsic mechanisms (internal motivation) and external stimuli (external motivation). It was coined as a theory by Deci and Ryan (1985) and says that ‘activity that is self determined is one chosen by the participant and they will have autonomy or control over their experience.’ In essence those activities we choose to partake in have a strong intrinsic and extrinsic form of motivation on us, whereas those activities that are imposed upon us leave us with little or no motivation in the long term.
How does all this relate to sport?
There are clear applications of self determination theory to sport, from playing sports that we choose to play, to playing sports that we had to at school or to please our parents who thought that they were important for our future. Research by Vallerand and Losier, 1999 goes one step further and shows that not only does higher levels of self determination support higher levels of self esteem it also brings out higher levels of sportspersonship and can lead to an improvement in the individuals performance.
What about passion?
Yes we know it’s hard to get passionate about getting up at 4.00am to get to the lake for practice or even the boathouse for a winter erg session, however the concept of passion is one that has become a recent subject of study for many researchers.
If we step back and link to what we have previously discussed with intrinsic motivation, passion can be deeply embedded with this and it is clear to see that many individuals feel passionate about activities or sports because they enjoy them so much – heck you can find a social media group for pretty much anything nowadays!!.
There are two types of passion and both are linked to the activity the person chooses to engage in. Firstly there is harmonious passion, where the activity the individual engages in is one they like and only have positive feelings about so choosing to disengage from this they can do at any point. Secondly there is obsessive passion, where the individual feels compelled to engage in the activity as they feel that if they disengage there will be negative consequences and their self-esteem will be reduced. The term ‘workaholic’ is often applied to an individual experiencing obsessive passion about their work or activity and can be used to describe someone who exhibits ‘over-motivation’.
Motivation and self confidence.
An individual that expects to be successful at a task shows greater willingness to be involved in that task for longer periods of time. Look at any Olympic athlete and you can track not only the progression that athlete makes but also the setbacks and times they fail in an attempt to reach the pinnacle of any sport.
Any successful performance will boost our motivation to perform that same task either again or at a higher level. These would be referred to as performance accomplishments and research by Morris and Keohn, 2004 was shown this exact outcome further increases the likelihood of successful performances across the board. Being self confident = more motivation, simple hey!!
This week we’ve taken a deeper look at some of the factors that can lead to greater levels of motivation across the board. Persistence and effort with any endeavor are seen as key to keeping individuals motivated. In turn self confidence, and both internal and external factors are things that any athlete needs to be aware of and as coaches we need to ensure we are prompting with to keep our athletes and teams in the game.
Yours in fitness, education and more motivation.
Photo by James Besser on Unsplash
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