What is motivation, and how can it be applied to sports psychology?
The common question arising in the field of sports is whether motivation is essential in sport psychology. Attaining the athletic motivational phase is necessary.
The term motivation is not just about increasing confidence; rather, it is about determination. Certain aspects of our lives are directly related to our behaviour. In fields like sports, having a clear mind and determination is essential.
Sports psychology helps us to understand how motivational skills can be used in the right way. The main focus of sports motivation is to be a better version of yourself, to break your records, and to set a new bar every time you perform.
Being physically fit is not everything. The mental state of being ready and trying to achieve greater heights is a must. That’s the true spirit of motivation.
The Spirit of Motivation
Expanding your capacity in training and raising your competitive spirit is an essential step towards excellence. Your mindset impacts your behaviour, aggression levels, and social life. The sports psychology field has widened its perspectives, right from Skinner’s theory on reinforcement to Pavlov’s way of explaining behaviour changes.
The need to achieve more can drive you towards a phase of motivation. A similar theory is applicable in sports too! The athletic motivational force will divert you from Amotivation to Motivation.
Getting engaged in the practice sessions, concentrating on strategies and fitness levels can keep you oriented towards your target. If the athlete decides to complete goals and improvise their skills, then the journey towards excellency is simple.
The coach has to motivate sports approach and athletes. The need to get recognition in their respective fields will act as fuel for the athletes. There are ways you can manipulate your behaviour and motivation is a part of that. The study of psychology is not just limited to earlier views, but modern views have also been taken into consideration.
As time passes by, the unexpected hurdles need to be overcome by a sense of Self Confidence. The force has to be just redirected in the right direction. Subsequently, the athletes might also get to know the importance of motivation in sports.
What kind of motivation do athletes require?
If you are looking for a definitive answer to this question, then please clear the misunderstanding. Because there can be multiple ways to motivate athletes:
- Behaviour widely affects motivation, and hence the overall performance. Lowering of self-confidence due to lack of motivation might be harmful to the gameplay and strategies.
- Firstly, the athletes must know right they are performing along with that their weaknesses should also be highlighted. It would result in introspection and thus cause the athlete to work harder to be the best. Sports motivation psychology is not accessible, but it can be enhanced by keeping your mind stable. The motivation which comes from within you is the most valuable.
- The urge to improve and achieve something great can be a source of motivation. Athletes exercise and maintain fitness levels to improve their skills and performance. Regular practice sessions are a result of Self Determination. The athlete knows that these sessions are worth, and the self-worth energizes them.
- There is one more kind of motivation in which the athlete might take part in the sports due to some external pressure. The athletes are not interested in achieving the goal for their betterment. They are participating in either winning the prize to satisfy someone, or it might be to prove themselves and gain recognition.
- Sometimes the athletes do not feel like participating or achieving the goal. Their lack of determination is a result of Amotivation. There is a lack of interest seen in such athletes which might hinder their performance.
Dedication: An athletic motivational state
If you are responsible for any task or activity, you need to put your best in it. Similarly, athletics and other sports activities need a high level of dedication. It leads to people getting into a state called flow, in which they do not look or focus on any aspects other than sports.
Now the issue is, that this state might turn their personality into a repulsive one. Social, personal, and professional lives are just about one thing, that is sports. It can affect the sportsperson mentally.
The coach and staff have to ensure the efficiency of the athlete. The efficiency is directly proportional to the target or aim set by the athlete. The dedication towards the sport and motivation have to be parallel.
Long term goals matter, that is, if the athlete is encouraged to go on a limitless adventure of motivational sport. There is no such thing called a motivational type of sport but instead, focus on how you can advance towards the target.
A significant limitation is that it can lead to significant issues of anxiety and stress. There is a lack of practical thinking, and the results might not be advisable. For instance, if an athlete with the best ranking in their sport ends up participating in small tournaments, it is not worth it. It is because their expertise could’ve been utilised in a better way if they had competed with someone having a similar skill level.
The theory of Self Determination
The Self Determination Theory talks about how well you can perform a task-oriented activity if the motivation is provided in the form of self-confidence and self-worth.
The Motivation in Sport related activities is more in the form of internal manipulation of the mind. There is a need to have a positive approach to any obstacle faced. So what does self-determination have to do with sports psychology?
The athlete’s choice matters. If they do not want to come into the field of sports and have been forced to take it up, then there has to be some denial towards motivation. There has to be a passion for sports if you want to achieve something by yourself and for yourself.
The SDT theory is a result of contemporary views and the modern world. It emphasized on how well a person can improvise themselves by excelling in their respective fields. Having an egoistic mindset can ruin the phase of motivation and self-worth.
The sense of intrinsic motivation means getting motivated by your values and knowing self-worth. Instead of ignoring your faults, learn to embrace them and hence learn to correct them. It will automatically enhance the quick thinking and decision making skills of the athlete.
Techniques to motivate sports affiliated people
How to implement motivational techniques for athletes? Do coaches need motivation too?
Well, it is a challenging task to motivate a person and to try to bring the expected level of confidence all at once. But this task can be made simpler if the coaches are also equally motivated. That is because the mentor needs to have a healthy mind to motivate athletes.
There are specific strategies involved to implement the techniques effectively:
- The athlete and the coach have to be motivated by the achievements which lie ahead of them. The vision should be not just about winning; it should be about crossing limits for a better cause. The cause might be representing your nation at an international level.
- The focus should be on the goal, but the overall well-being of the player should not be affected. There should be freedom and relaxation, but it should not exceed the limit.
- Reinforcements can deteriorate or smoothen the journey of an athlete. Humans have a particular affinity for rewards and appreciation. So if certain rewards provide a sense of contentment and happiness, the person would try their best to gain those rewards.
- The environment while training the athlete should send a positive vibe: the surroundings, colleagues, and even the sound matters. Many coaches use music as a weapon to motivate the athlete.
- All these strategies will not work if the athlete does not have confidence in themselves. Some believe that we need to communicate with ourselves and act according to the situation.
The most essential job is recognizing the motivational force, which you might be carrying within yourself for a long time. Learn to use aggression and energy in the right way.
Along with exhausting your body for the sake of the sport, invest your mind. It will get you closer to the finish line.
We should let ourselves know what lies ahead. The motivation talks might seem tedious, but we should learn to read between the lines!
Listen to your soul. The tips mentioned in this article are to direct the athlete within you, towards the correct path.
The application of motivation into sports psychology might bring a change in the behaviour, consistency, and performance of the athlete.
Being a good athlete might not always be a plus point if you lack the required morals and ethics. Keep the target in mind before you initiate the training process.