Competitive performance

Motivation is one of the most important aspects of a competitive performance. Motivation is being inspired to do something; this can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside environment; this can be money, medals, prizes or fame. You are motivated to do it because you get a material reward. Intrinsic motivation comes from within the performer. The performer gets personal enjoyment from the sport, even if they have no ability, if they enjoy it and have fun then they will be motivated to carry on with the sport, it doesn’t matter if they have natural ability or not.

Motivation whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic has different effects on an athlete including whether or not they continue with their sport. An athletes motivation usually predicts their attendance to that particular sport for example an intrinsically motivated boxer (Lennox Lewis) trains very hard and his fights must be painful, so what motivates him to continually push his body physically? Because he gains personal enjoyment, whereas a boxer who fights for extrinsic reasons would be someone who continues their sport to become better at it solely to win medals.

Elite performers who are millionaires still contribute to their sports but not for the money so they must be intrinsically motivated. Ian Thorpe is a good example of this, Even though he knew he wasn’t going to win the backstroke at the commonwealth games he still participated because he wanted to prove to himself that he could do it … “If I put everything INTO it, I can’t lose. I mightn’t win in terms of gold medals, but I will win my own personal battle. And that’s what it’s all about. ”

Another example of an intrinsically motivated sports person is Tim Henman, although he is a good tennis player he gets a lot of unwanted media attention however he carries on playing tennis because he enjoys it he- is intrinsically motivated. Although most sports people proceed with their sport for intrinsic reasons, they must be extrinsically motivated because they must have started out for the money but when they make more and more they become intrinsically motivated because they don’t need the money anymore, but they still carry on because they enjoy it.

Ability is another important component of performing well. Ability can be defined as how well you perform a specific task. It can be physical e. g. Michael Owen is a physically able football player, or it can be mental, chess is mentally challenging. Ability is the genetic make up of an athlete, which we inherit from our parents. For example a stereotypical view would be that if are of average height, strong, co-ordinated and have a majority of fast twitch muscle fibres, then you have the natural ability to be a good sprinter.

Ability is mostly innate, you are either born with it or it is acquired early in life. It cannot really be acquired but because ability is closely linked with technique and skill if these two factors are improved the result will be that ability improves with them. Skill = Ability + Technique Abilities can be perceptual, motor or most commonly a combination of both. Both ability and motivation are essential in a competitive sporting performance. But which is more important? Some people might say that ability is more important.

This might be because to be able to learn and perform any skill in sport you must have the abilities required. One argument that shows ability to be more important is that you cannot compete successfully if you don’t have the ability, for example in an individual sport like discus you have to rely on your ability because if you are not good at the sport you will not be successful. However if you lack ability in a team game like Netball it is not as important because you are part of a team who will all contribute to the team’s success.

This is because although Netball requires a lot of ability to be good at it, it’s still fun to play if you don’t have the natural ability, so you can still participate and be successful as a team if only one person is not able enough. If you don’t have the ability then you may not be successful but “those who are highly motivated are more likely to learn and practice skills than those who are not” so ability might improve.

Biddell (1984) states intrinsically motivated performers are more likely to continue participating than those extrinsically motivated. Extrinsic motivation is of benefit at first and provides initial drive but does not last. An example of this a Micelle Shumaker, he earns …

The role of motivation in enhancing a sports performance can be key to a performers success or failure. In this essay I am going to discuss how certain factors effect motivation such as personality and also the different types of …

Motivation is a key element in sports psychology. Investigation into motivation continues to this day and many theorists persist to propose legitimate theories and explorations. Sage (1974) stated that motivation is ‘The internal mechanisms and external stimuli which arouse and …

Biddell said that performers who are intrinsically motivated are more likely to participate in a sport for a longer time period than those who are not. In the premier league to measure players ‘performance’ they use Prozone. This is a …

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