What is intrinsic motivation in sports?


Motivation is an inner force that drives our thinking, emotions, and communication with others, as well as all other elements of our behavior. In sports, great motivation is generally regarded as a necessary condition for players to grow and thrive.

The act of performing without any external incentives is known as intrinsic motivation. This type of motivation is fun and intriguing, does not involve any external incentive or obligation to do something, like a special award or a target. 

Concept of intrinsic motivation

A variety of hypotheses have been presented to describe the intrinsic motivation and its mechanism. Many people claim that tangible motivation, including cash prices, fame, etc., drives behavioral conduct. At the same time, the incentive in intrinsically motivated behavior is the action itself.

People’s wants and impulses were the foundation of the most widely accepted notion of intrinsic motivation. 

Intrinsic motivation implies searching out and participating in challenging, fascinating, and inwardly fulfilling activities without the expectation of receiving a monetary return.

What is intrinsic motivation in sports?

Athletes engage in sports for a number of purposes, and their drive to persist and succeed might be extrinsic or intrinsic. Intrinsically driven sports people indulge in sports for objectives other than competition, including pleasure and personal growth. 

If players are intrinsically driven, they are more likely to remain concentrated, have greater self-esteem and creativity, experience happiness and contentment, and are less frustrated whenever they fail. 

Ways to intrinsically motivate athletes

Following are the ways to intrinsically motivate people in the sports field:

1. The reason behind start:

Everyone starts their journey with a motive. If you know an athlete who is losing motivation, ask them the reason. You must ask them what made them enter into the sports field? What motivates them to keep going? 

When you give an athlete a feeling of meaning and purpose, you’re also giving them an opportunity for self-improvement and progress. Though this takes a little time and patience, once an athlete discovers their goal, they are more inclined to stay motivated and gain their confidence back.

2. Self-competition:

Always tell your athletes that they should solely compare themselves to their past accomplishments. Comparing their results to those of other players would demotivate them. Demonstrate how they’ve progressed since the last time you saw them. Use measurements and statistics to highlight their progress instead of telling them how they performed in a tournament and against other participants.

3. Self-talk:

Positive self-talk is a method that may be used to improve productivity in a variety of situations. It involves the use of a player’s impactful inner voice to boost self-confidence or improve critical parts of their performance. Self-talk, when used correctly, may help an athlete’s value system change for the better. Therefore, players must be encouraged to introspect and communicate with themselves.

4. Setting objectives:

Setting reasonable yet difficult objectives is the most important component in motivating the athletes. Having a goal in mind might help an individual remain focused. Setting long-term objectives will encourage the athlete to perform better and be the greatest. A long-term aim, or “why,” will motivate them to keep going. 

No matter how big or small, short-term targets provide an extra boost for individuals to continue working toward their long-term goals.

We are optimistic that by now you have got a clear insight of “what is intrinsic motivation in sports?”

Find more about “Difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

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