Motivation is a difficult thing to pin down. Why do people do the things they do? That’s a question psychologists are always trying to answer. When we see athletes perform incredible physical feats, many of us are astonished and wonder how they find the motivation to do it.
As someone with a passion for athleticism, Bronson McClelland is particularly fascinated by the Human Motivation Theory and is always striving to improve his performance in sports. Read on to learn more about athletic motivation.
We all know what motivation is, but sports motivation specifically refers to an athlete’s motivation to succeed in their sport – whether that’s getting an Olympic gold medal, scoring the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl, or hitting a home run in the World Series.
There are two types of motivation that affect us all, including athletes. These types are called extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation happens when a person either gets a reward for doing a good job or receives some type of punishment for not doing well. Motivation comes from outside of yourself. For example, if your child plays baseball and they get an award and lots of praise for winning a game, they become more motivated to win. They may also want to win to avoid any negative consequences of losing, such as social disapproval. Athletes who have too much of this type of motivation may get overly focused on the outcome.
Intrinsic motivation comes from within. Athletes with this type of motivation are primarily driven by an enjoyment of their sport and fulfilling their personal potential. There is nothing that anyone else can do to take away their motivation – they just have it naturally. Athletes with this type of motivation will focus more on improving their skills as opposed to the outcome.