Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's October 2001

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The significance of motivation in ones life is particularly apparent in sport, whereby for most individuals sporting activities are not associated with any material rewards. What then, motivates an individual to play a particular sport? The answer is simply, physical, emotional and social achievement.

Individuals who participate in a sport are motivated by the simple idea of being part of a team. Being part of a team for the individual, means that they will be given the opportunity to make a substantial contribution and will also be able to meet new people. As a result it will allow them to improve certain motor skills and attain new ones, allow for their capabilities and efforts to be recognised and improve their interaction skills. This will allow for the enhancement of one's self esteem, and thus increase one's motivation for playing sport. The achievement motive is a particularly significant contributor to one's motive for playing sport.

The desire to achieve mastery, excellence and accomplishment, motivates individuals to seek competition that provides a fair test for their abilities (Sdorow, 1998). Individuals challenge themselves by competing against others, and in doing so are able to recognize and compare their capabilities. It is therefore evident, that a high achiever will strive to achieve goals for the sake of personal growth, that is, intrinsic rewards(Charles etal,1995). According to the cognitive evaluation theory, Ryan(1980) states that(cited in Sdorow, 1994), athletes who feel that particular rewards will demonstrate their capability, experience an increase in intrinsic motivation, whereas, individuals who feel that particular rewards are used as means of control, will experience a decrease in intrinsic motivation.

Goal setting is also a significant factor in increasing sport motivation, as it improves ones performance by providing encouragement. The reason for this being, that individuals have something to look...