Motivation is essential in every human activity, including sports and competitions.

Sporting motivation is what moves the athlete to perform at his/her best at all times. It is different from activation, which is the setting in motion of the organism that allows the execution of a behavior. Activation is necessary, although it is not enough for there to be a motivational state.

For a person to initiate and be persistent in the execution of a sporting activity, it is important that there is some satisfaction in it. Because it is a hard activity that requires effort, it requires motivation to do it.

What motivates the athlete?

The reasons why an athlete is motivated are:

  • Winning: A medal, social recognition, a cup.
  • Individuals: Varies from one person to another and depends on personal history. For example, to practice a sport by family tradition.

Sports psychologists have also provided information on types of motivation related to the world of physical activity and sport.

Basic Motivation vs. Daily Motivation

Basic Motivation

Basic motivation determines an athlete’s level of commitment to his or her activity. It refers to an athlete’s interest in sports scores, personal performance and/or the positive consequences of both.

Daily Motivation

Daily motivation refers to an athlete’s interest in daily activity and the immediate gratification it produces.

Ego-centered motivational guidance vs. task-centered motivational guidance

Ego centered motivational orientation

This type of motivation refers to the fact that the motivation of athletes depends on challenges and results compared to other athletes.

Task centered motivational orientation

Motivation depends on personal challenges and results, and subjective impressions of mastery and progress.

Motivation Orientation

Orientation refers to the objectives that a person seeks when practicing a sport. There are two types of motivation orientation: Task and Result oriented.

Task Oriented

They are people who seek to improve their skills in the activity they perform and strive to increase their skills and abilities, competing with themselves more than with others.

Because they don’t pay attention to results, these people stay motivated longer and have more resistance to abandonment. They are more persistent, resistant to failure and work harder. In addition, realistic or somewhat difficult but not unattainable goals are proposed.

These people have better long-term results and feel better well-being.

Examples: Learning a new skill, improving the practice of a sport.

Outcome Oriented

They are people who strive to achieve a result and success in something. They tend to be proud when they get the result they wanted and persist despite failures. However, they perceive success in comparison with others, which makes them dependent.

Examples: Succeeding in an activity, winning over others.