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Why is motivation so important in sports? |04 April 2022

Research shows that high level of motivation can benefit your sporting performance more than you would believe, it is absolutely essential whether you are playing for recreational or for competition. It raises you up to achieve whatever your heart desire.

There are two fundamental sources of motivation ‒ intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation

Athletes perform tasks because they have the drive from within to do it. This is simple because you love do it so the reward is inherent in the activity itself.

Extrinsic motivation

You are motivated to do sports in order to gain an external individual reward in return. Your goal is focused on the outcome, does not satisfy your basic psychological needs. Rather, it involves extended gain such as money, fame, power and avoiding consequences.

Now that we have understood the two different types of motivation, we can look at the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. How do internal and external motivations affect each other?

Research shows that being rewarded for working on extrinsically interesting activity can decrease a person’s intrinsic motivation.

There are many factors to consider and what works for one athlete may not work for another.

Positive impact of motivation

● Work harder in training and competition

● Improve physical condition

● Technical and tactical

● Mentally prepared

● Lifestyle

● School grades

● Work


What happens in competition?

In competition you arive at a point at which it is no longer fun. You will get tired, painful and tedious. Many athletes when they reach this point either ease up or give up because it is just too hard. But truly motivated athletes reach the stage and keep going.

Daily questions for athletes

Every day you should ask yourself two questions. When you get up in the morning ask ‘what can i do today to become the best athlete i can be? Before you go to sleep ask ‘did i do everything possible today to become the best athlete i can be? These two questions will remind daily of what your goals are and will challenge you to be motivated to become your best.

Sign of low motivation

There are several signs of low motivation

● Lack of desire to practice as much as you should.

● Less than 100% effort in training.

● Skipping or shortening training

● Effort that is inconsistent with your goals.


How do you motivate people in sports?

Recognise motivation shifts. Athlete motivation build from external sources while inspiration grows within the athlete.

● increase positive communication

● Be good role model

● Derive motivation

● use imagery training

● Set goals

● Positive reinforcements

● Team work


Best motivational quotes from famous athletes.

● “If something stands between you and your success move it.”

● “Don't be afraid of failure.”

● “Work hard towards your goals.”

● “You must always have competitiveness, best ability regardless of circumstances you face, to never quit.”


Maurice Denys

Certified Mental Coach

S.N.H.S Dip Sports Psychology

S.N.H.S Dip Life Coaching


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