Motivation in Sport

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Motivation can be defined as a psychological drive to fill a particular need. At a basic level if we are hungry/need food we experience a desire (drive/motivation) to find something to eat i.e. to fulfil the need. Understanding and enhancing motivation is one of the most popular topics in sports psychology and coaching. Motivation is seen not only as a drive to engage in an activity, but more importantly as the driving force of human excellence. It is the level of motivation that will often differentiate those athletes who excel from those who do not. Motivation has also been defined as the ability to act. The term motivation is derived from a Latin word “movere” meaning “to move” (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002) Two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic, have been of particular interest to researchers in the field of sport psychology (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000, 2008). Intrinsic motivation entails participation in an activity for the feelings of fun, pleasure, excitement, and satisfaction associated with it, while extrinsic motivation involves participation for the attainment of such rewards as money, trophies, and social approval or to avoid punishment. One of the most widely applied theoretical approaches to these types of motivation is self-determination theory, or SDT (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000). SDT also involves the concept of a motivation, or having no sense of purpose and lacking intent to engage in a particular behavior. SDT posits that the different types of motivation (intrinsi and extrinsic motivation) can be effected by levels of high to low self-determination. Personality can be defined as the combination of a person’s characteristics which makes them unique.Personality is a critical factor in performance and motivation. Different personality types deal with motivation, arousal, anxiety, goal-setting and psychological techniques in different
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