Motivation in Sport Masterclass

Motivation in Sport - Effort in the Tug of WarMotivation is crucial in sport. Whether you are struggling to get out and train on a windy and rainy day or looking to exert that extra bit of effort to come from a goal down in the last few minutes of a hard fought match motivation matters. Coaches and captains will use a wide variety of techniques to help sports performers participate in sport and perform better. Whether this means using extrinsic rewards (e.g., bonus payments), motivational quotes and speeches, agreed goals or any number of techniques


We have partnered at Sporting Bounce with the Sport Psychology Lab to bring you a series of courses and Masterclasses in sport psychology. Our Motivation Masterclass is will be live by the end of June. This course will help you better understand sports motivation. It will explore what motivation is, the role of extrinsic motivation in sport and how this differs from intrinsic motivation. As well as getting an insight into understanding your own motivation you will learn how to motivate others, the role that strategies such as goal setting plays in motivation and you will also learn how motivation affects sports performance. The course is based on theories of motivational climate, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and self-determination theory. We draw on the latest research and examples from sport so you can better understand motivation. This course is helpful whether you want to become a better coach, sport-performer or just have a general interest in sports motivation. 


What is motivation?


The term motivation is derived from the Latin word ‘movere’ (meaning “to move”). When we think about motivation in sport we normally consider moving to do or achieve something that matters to us. But motivation in sport is often mixed up with ‘psyching up’, ‘positive thinking’ and assumed as a quality ‘you’re born with”. Let’s deal with each mix-up in turn. First, ‘psyching up’ is about regulating one’s arousal (i.e., your body’s readiness to compete) at a moment in time. When we hear motivational speakers, we might be drawn to their emotional appeal at that time but the assumed change in motivated behaviour rarely materialises. The reason is simple: we are mixing up two different things: motivation and arousal. Second, with positive thinking, the assumption is that by imaging the success you want, you will be motivated to succeed. but this reasoning is faulty because we need to engage in specific tasks to make success possible. Finally, some people assume ‘you’re born with motivation’ to succeed or you’re not. In this assumption, motivation is seen as an innate inheritance but the context and environment are neglected. We are all familiar with people who were not motivated to learn at school but were the most motivated athletes in their school team. For these reasons, we need to look more closely at motivation and see its machinery to maximise our motivation to achieve our goals.     


What do we need? 


All human beings have needs. These needs range from physiological needs to safety needs, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualisation. Our physiological needs include air, water, food, sleep, shelter. Next, our safety needs might include personal security, health and employment. Our love and belonging needs might include friendship, family, intimacy and a sense of connection. Our esteem needs might be respect, recognition, and freedom. Finally, we have self-actualisation which is a desire to become all we can become. We are motivated to meet these needs in different ways and at different times. It’s challenging to be focused on a need for respect if you are starving or have not slept in two days. We often see these needs as a hierarchy which means we jump up a level of the hierarchy when our needs are met but in an everyday setting, our need for sleep (physiological need), for example, might dominate after a long night out with our friends (a sense of belonging) which represents dropping down the hierarchy.


As athletes, we need to figure out our needs and how they are being met or missed. When our needs are not met, we tend to find ways to meet them that are not sensible. For example, if you had a need for resources (safety need), you might accumulate as much money as possible from your sport but not enjoy the money because of your fear of not having enough. When we think about our motivation, we shall keep our needs in mind. 


How does motivation work?


We have discussed the various needs we might have as human beings. You’ll notice that playing sport is not a psychological need; however, you might have a need for esteem that can be met through sport. The respect, status and recognition you crave could be met through the mechanism of sport. Though there are lots of theories to explain why we do what we do in sport and exercise settings and we draw one the latest motivation research to understand and explain motivated behavior in sport. 


So if you are interested in understanding motivation and how it links to sports participation and performance, then this is the course for you. You will get an insight into understanding your own motivation you will learn how to motivate others, the role that strategies such as goal setting plays in motivation and you will also learn how motivation affects sports performance. While it has an applied focus the course, and the practical examples provided, are based on theories of motivational climate, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and self-determination theory. We draw on the latest research and examples from sport so you can better understand motivation. This course is helpful whether you want to become a better coach, sport-performer or just have a general interest in sports motivation. If you are interested in sports motivation then visit this page by the end of June for a link to this exciting and transformational course.