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“We are going to need big characters out there who can dig deep and show real fight and courage.”
Motivation is a very significant part of any sporting performance at any level. Motivation can be defined as, ‘a physiological drive to fulfil a particular need’ (Davis et al, 1991). Sporting performers can either be intrinsically or extrinsically motivated.
This is dependent on what the sportsman is motivated by. Intrinsic can be defined as, ‘pure love of the sport’ (Wesson et al, 2000). This would probably apply more to beginners and novices because you are some what interested in the sport, whereas elite athletes and professionals are often extrinsically motivated as there are big prizes to be one when sport is done to an elite level. As suggested by Davis et al,1998 ‘extrinsic motivation stems from other people, through positive and negative reinforcement, and from tangible rewards such as trophies and money.’
There are a few theories that are linked to motivation concerning arousal and its influence on a participant’s performance. The Drive Theory (Hull, 1943) suggests that as the level of arousal increases the quality of the performance should increase. This means that the arousal and performance are directly proportional, this is very true to a certain extent however it does have a limitation as it does not take into consideration ‘over arousal’ which would have an effect on the performance. A theory that did take this into consideration is the inverted – U Hypothesis (Yerkes and Dodson, 1908). This theory suggested that increased arousal improves performance only to a certain point after which further increased levels of arousal will have an adverse effect.
As you can see from the Inverted – U Hypothesis over arousal causes performance levels to drop.
A – This is when the participant is under aroused is not at optimum performance.
B – This is the where the participant is at optimum arousal level and is performing to the best of his/her ability.
C – This where the participant is over aroused and again not performing to his potential.
Most sports require different levels of arousal, for example a fine skilled sport like snooker would require very low levels of arousal whereas a gross skilled sport like boxing would require a very high level of arousal. For this reason a graph called the Inverted – U theory and Task Type was created.
The inverted – U are specific for different sports:
A – a fine skilled sport such as snooker.
B – a moderate skilled sport such as football.
C – a gross skilled sport such as boxing.
The small red box at the top of each inverted – U is the ‘zoof’ ().
There are two categories that people fit into. These include NaF (need to avoid failure) and NAch (need to achieve). A NaF person is a person who is motivated to avoid failure in order not to experience the feelings of shame or humiliation that will result if failure occurs. This person introvert and would be withdrawn, nervous and would not appreciate feedback. Whereas a HAch person is someone who is motivated to achieve success for the feeling of pride and satisfaction they will experience, this person is lightly to be a extravert and would be out-going, enthusiastic and would like feedback.
There are different ways to motivate these two types of people. For a NAch person, if wanted to keep them motivated you would give lots of feedback and be quite critical about their performance, this is because in the long run it would aid performance. You would also set task orientating goals and maybe make him/her some sort of leader. Internal factors are usually what motivate a NAch person. For a NaF person you would dwell on the positive points of his/her performance, you would also set very easily reachable goals to avoid any failure and ultimately to boost confidents. External factor are usually what motivates a NaF person.
To set goals there is a specific process that is devise specially to ensure not to demotivate the participant.
Specific – to the sport, the individual or the level at which the sport is bei being performed.
Measurable – to be able to measure the progress towards achieving the goals.
Achievable – to prevent far fetched goals that will just demotivate the team/ team/sportsman.
Realistic – to prevent far fetched goals that will just demotivate the team/ team/sportsman.
Time-phased – specified to individual needs.
Exciting – to maintain motivation.
Recorded – to ensure the agreement.
In all sport motivation is one of the most important things to aid a successful performance.
In conclusion, referring back to the question motivation can be responsible for enhancing sporting performance in all competitive games. This is true if I look back to all my reasoning above.