Motivation, stress and anxiety in sport

Essay by tombola51 March 2004

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Motivation is one of the main psychological factors affecting sports performance; it is one of the most important aspects of competitive performance. Motivation means to be inspired to do something.

There are many different types of motivation and different levels that have different affects on how we perform.

One basic definition of motivation is "The drive to strive" said by Sage (1974)In order for a performer to play a sport they need to have motivation, a want to succeed, achieve a goal.

Achieving goals will boost a performer's motivation and confidence, which will make them perform better. Elite performers, who get to a stage where they are unable to improve, still need goals to maintain their current performance and maintain their high levels of motivation. When not motivated a player is liable to make mistakes and not perform at their best. A motivated player will overcome a demotivated performer almost every time.

Motivation comes in two categories:

Intrinsic motivation which involves gaining self-satisfaction or pride from achievements, the desire to challenge, or the enjoyment of taking part. E.g. an individual may decide to learn a new skill/sport, such as squash for example, just as a form of recreation, to develop their fitness levels.

The performer gets there own 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. Individual games players mainly use this type of motivation. Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside environment, material things like money, medals, prizes or even fame. E.g. A coach in football, this can be through positive or negative reinforcement. This type of motivation is generally used in team games, for example in football a...