Motivation – Improving PDHPE
Study Notes

– Positive and Negative

Positive motivation refers to pleasure or reward an athlete receives when completing a task, goal or event.
The stronger the feeling of pleasure or bigger the reward often increases the level of motivation of the athlete.

Negative motivation refers to the pain or negative consequences an athlete receives when not completing a task / event or not achieving their goal.
The stronger the feeling of pain or the harsher the consequence of not performing well or succeeding may increase the motivation of the athlete.
However, this can lead to unnecessary pressure and burnout of the athlete. It is not advised to use or encourage negative motivation to push an athlete to perform well.

– Intrinsic and Extrinsic

Intrinsic motivation means motivation that comes from within. Levels of intrinsic motivation can vary from athlete to athlete.
Athletes who have/develop a high level of intrinsic motivation often experience a longer career as the can create motivation for themselves and feel a sense of achievement – not depend on others / outside sources to continually push/drive them.

Extrinsic motivation means motivation that comes from outside the athletes, e.g. coaches, family, teammates or supporters. Extrinsic motivation can relate to both positive and negative motivation. Extrinsic motivation can be powerful as it makes the athlete feel accountable to the actions and performance.
However, if too much extrinsic motivation is placed on the athlete, they may feel pressured and experience stress or burnout. Additionally, if the extrinsic motivation were to fade the athlete may not feel it is worth training or delivering their optimal performance.

Full Written Notes

Human psychology posits that everything we do is motivated by our drive to avoid pain or gain pleasure. The things we associate with pain or pleasure vary from person to person and our perceptions may change dramatically over our lifetimes. It is also possible for pain and pleasure to exist simultaneously; our actions and behaviours will be determined by our drive and whether the potential for pleasure outweighs the risk of pain.

This concept can be applied to sport and training as well. There are several types of motivation which may drive an athlete to improve performance and work towards goals.

Positive and Negative

Positive motivation refers to the pleasure or reward an athlete receives when completing a task, goal or event. Most athletes experience this feeling of pleasure when they complete a task, goal or event, or when they receive a reward. These positive memories then motivate them to repeat the conditions so they can experience the same feelings and reward again. The level of motivation will be influenced by the strength of the positive feeling and the nature of the reward.

Negative motivation describes the pain or negative consequences an athlete experiences when they fail to complete an event or task correctly or unable to achieve their goals. Most athletes will be familiar with the negative emotions and/or consequences which result from failure and will strive to avoid the pain by performing well and meeting their objectives. The level of motivation is once again effected by the intensity of the pain or the severity of the consequences of failure.

However, these kinds of negative feelings can also place excessive pressure on the athlete to succeed, leading to burnout. Athletes can lose their passion for their sport or increase their risk of injury by overtraining, potentially shortening their potential career. Therefore, is not advisable to use negative motivation as a tool to push an athlete to perform well.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic

Intrinsic motivation comes from within. The levels and intensity of intrinsic motivation will vary between athletes. Furthermore, the level of intrinsic motivation for one athlete can fluctuate during different stages of the season or their career.

Intrinsic motivation may be inspired by positive feelings, like enjoying success or learning a new skill, or negative consequences, like the drive to avoid failure. Athletes who have or develop a high level of intrinsic motivation often enjoy a longer and more successful careers as they are able generate motivation within themselves. Their sense of achievement and drive to succeed is not dependent on external factors like other people or outside reinforcement.

Extrinsic motivation is generated by external elements in the athlete’s life, for example, coaches, family, teammates or supporters. Extrinsic motivation can also take positive and negative forms. For example, teammates may provide positive motivation by celebrating with the athlete when they score a goal. An example of negative motivation would be a coach punishing an athlete by withdrawing privileges if they fail to complete a 100m swim within an allotted time frame.

Extrinsic motivation can be powerful as it makes the athlete feel accountable for their actions and performance. However, if too much extrinsic motivation is placed on the athlete, they may feel pressured, leading to increased levels of stress or burnout. Extrinsic motivations, like fame, money, sponsorships are finite and may fade negatively impacting an athletes desire to continue training or delivering perform optimally.