The Science and Psychology of Motivation for Athletes

Motivational Articles For Athletes: What Are They?

There are many reasons why it is beneficial. One reason is that motivation helps you achieve goals faster. Another reason is that it motivates you to keep going even when things don’t go well. A third reason is that it can increase your self-esteem. Some of these reasons are related to the way you think about yourself. Other reasons may relate to how others see you.

One of the most common ways of thinking about yourself is through a sense of achievement (or failure). Achievement refers to any kind of success or pleasure that comes from doing something well, such as winning an athletic competition or accomplishing some other goal. Failure refers to any kind of failure or loss that comes from doing something poorly, such as failing in school or failing to get into college.

Another way of thinking about yourself is through a sense of competence (or incompetence). Competence refers to any kind of skill that you have acquired by practicing and learning new skills over time. Inability refers to any lack of skill that you have acquired by not practicing and learning new skills.

Why Does Motivation Help You Achieve Your Goals?

A sense of achievement can increase your motivation to achieve even more in the future. Having a goal that you really want to achieve can motivate you to push yourself, even when you face challenges or feel tired. Telling yourself to “suck it up” and keep going can help you achieve your goals. Your goals may also influence the way that you think about yourself. For example, let’s say your goal is to get into an Ivy League school. You may start believing that you can achieve this goal because you have the intelligence and the talent for it. You may also start believing that you are a competent person because you can achieve this goal through hard work and dedication.

A sense of competence can also increase your motivation to achieve even more in the future. Having a goal that you really want to achieve can motivate you to do more. For example, if your goal is to act in a play or a movie you may practice your lines over and over again until you have them down perfectly. You may also work hard to learn new skills that are required for your role.

What Are the Different Types of Motivation?

There are two basic types of motivation: introjected and external. Having a goal that you really want to achieve can motivate you to practice more, which helps you learn new skills and get better at your sport or activity. You might also set smaller goals along the way to keep yourself motivated when you reach a plateau in your skill level. For example, in order to improve your serve in tennis, you might break down your goal of a “good” serve into several smaller goals such as hitting the ball at different speeds or on different parts of the court. Introjected motivation means that you are motivated by what you think about yourself. Ingrained means that you tend to think in a stable way about yourself. You may have a sense of what is important to you and what you want to achieve in life.

External motivation means that you are motivated by others or outside circumstances. For example, if a coach tells you to try out for a team, this may be enough for you to try out even if you don’t really feel like it. You may also have a parent or friend drive you to and from your lessons. Ingrained means that you tend to think in a stable way about what is important for other people.

You may believe that it is important to help others in any way you can.

What Are the Factors That Influence Your Motivation?

There are several factors that can influence your motivation. What keeps you motivated in one situation may not be as effective in another situation. The type of goals you set for yourself can influence your motivation. For example, an approach goal is when you want to learn a new skill or get better at something and an avoidance goal is when you want to avoid something negative or not do something. The specificity of your goal can also influence your motivation. A specific goal is one that is well defined and a general goal is one that isn’t well defined. For example, “I want to get better at the piano” is a specific goal while “I want to be good at something” is a general goal. If you find that you are not motivated to practice, you may want to try setting a more specific goal such as “I will practice for 30 minutes today” or break down your larger goal into several more manageable goals such as learning a new song this week. Your mindset can also influence your motivation. Having a fixed mindset means that you believe your abilities are set and cannot be changed, while having a growth mindset means that you believe you can improve even if you haven’t done something before. For example, you might believe that because you haven’t played an instrument before that you won’t be any good at it or you might believe that with practice anyone can get better at it. Your mindset can influence your motivation to try new things, take on challenges and keep trying even when things get difficult. Approaches to dealing with failure can also influence your motivation. Avoidance of failure involves not doing something in hopes of avoiding failure. For example, you might decide that tennis is too hard and not want to try it even though your friend pressures you to join the team. Belief in yourself involves you thinking positively about your capabilities in order to try something even if you might fail. For example, you might decide to try out for the tennis team even though you don’t think you will make it. The way you think about your abilities can influence your motivation to take on challenges in new situations.

What Can You Do to Stay Motivated?

It’s easy to lose motivation when faced with a challenge. It’s normal to have a bad day or even a bad week. Staying motivated can be hard if you feel like you’re not improving as quickly as you want to or not being successful the way you want to be. Here are some ways you can boost your motivation:

Break big goals into smaller ones: Rather than setting one large goal, set a series of smaller goals that will lead up to the larger goal. For example, if you want to learn how to play the piano, you might set the goal of learning a new song by next month.

Set deadlines: Give yourself time limits to complete things. However, give yourself some wiggle room in case you need it. For example, don’t set a deadline to learn a major piano piece in three weeks if you don’t think that’s enough time.

Get an accountability partner: Tell someone the goals you want to accomplish and ask them to hold you accountable. Let them know if you’re having a hard time or if you need some help staying motivated.

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Reward yourself: Set small rewards for achieving your small goals. This will act as positive reinforcement and can encourage you to keep going even if you don’t feel like it.

What Should You Do Now?

If you’re having a hard time staying motivated to do something, don’t worry. Just remember that it’s normal to lose motivation sometimes. Setting goals and breaking them down into smaller ones can help you stay motivated and work toward what you want. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish and create some goals to help you get there. Then set small rewards for yourself when you reach those goals.

Try this:

Set a goal: Think of something that you would like to accomplish, but it’s not something that you feel pressured to do. It can be anything: playing a song on an instrument, doing a backflip, writing a novel, etc. Once you’ve decided on your goal, write it down.

Break your goal down: Now, think of this goal and break it down into smaller parts. If you’re learning how to play the piano, this might mean breaking it down by notes or sections of the song. If you’re trying to do a backflip, this might mean breaking it down by steps: run and jump, turn your body, twist around, land. The smaller you can break down your goal, the easier it will be to set goals for each part.

Make your goals: For each part of your goal, write down a goal that you can accomplish in that area. If you’re learning to play a song on the piano, this might be learning one line of the song. If you’re trying to do a backflip, this might be practicing just the running and jumping part. Make sure your goals are realistic and doable.

Once you’ve set some goals, it’s time to reward yourself. When you accomplish a goal, it’s important to reward yourself so that your mind associates pleasure with accomplishing tasks. Later on, when you’re working toward a bigger goal, the motivation to reach the next reward will be stronger since you’ve done it before and you’ll know how good it feels.

Once you’ve accomplished your reward, go ahead and set some more goals. Remember to make them realistic and give yourself a chance to accomplish them. Once you get going, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to stay motivated and pump yourself up to reach your goals!

How to Get Unstuck From a creative Slump

We’ve all been there–you’re trying to write a story or draw a picture and your mind is drawing a blank. You know you have the potential to create something great, but for the life of you, you just can’t think of what to make! The world of art is filled with famous “overnight successes” that have probably spent years working on their craft in secret, not telling a soul about their passion. No one can take those days away from us.

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We are the only ones who can make something out of them.

The next time you’re staring down a blank sheet of notebook paper, a blank computer screen, or a white marble slab, think about all the time you spent crafting your art and all the time you will spend crafting it in the future. Your creations are a part of you–don’t let anyone tell you otherwise–and you have the control to create something great!

How to Deal with Harsh Feedback

No one is a born expert on anything. We all have to start somewhere and learn as we go. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult to get the constructive criticism you need to improve when the people around you just don’t seem to understand your vision. Whether you’re in an art class or trying to get a point across to a friend, people are going to have opinions on what you do.

Here are a few tips on how to handle yourself when you’re getting an earful.

Trust your instincts: One of the reasons people may not understand your vision is that they just don’t get it. They haven’t taken the time to think about what you’re doing or why, so their input on it will naturally be shallow. However, if you’ve ever sat down and thought about your own art, you’ve probably started to come up with opinions on other people’s pieces too. While it’s true that people can be blind to their own faults, you ultimately know yourself better than anyone else, so if your gut is telling you that something doesn’t look right or isn’t working, you’re probably right and the people criticizing you don’t really know what they’re talking about.

Don’t get defensive: It’s human nature to get upset when someone is criticizing you, but getting angry or otherwise vehement about it isn’t going to get you anywhere. Think of it this way, no matter how much you protest, someone’s still not going to like your art. You might as well take what they say into consideration and use it as a stepping stone to improve your skills.

Take a step back: It may be hard to do if you’ve been repeatedly yelled at over your work, but taking a step back from the situation and telling yourself that you can’t please everyone will help calm you down. Like they say, “you can’t win them all.” Concentrate on what YOU think about your art and don’t let other people’s opinions cloud your judgment or consume you.

Take a walk: If you’re in class, the best way to calm yourself down when someone is giving you a hard time is to just get away from them. Go for a walk, take a trip to the bathroom, or just leave the room if you can. Just don’t engage or yell at them, because that will only make things worse and it’s probably not going to change their mind anyway.

Remember, the real goal is to improve your own skills as an artist, not to please every single person that sees your work. Keep this in mind the next time someone gives you a hard time over something petty and don’t let it get to you.

How to Deal with Haters

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No matter what you do, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like you. This tends to happen a lot more frequently if you stick out and people don’t understand your art or personal interests. While it can be tempting to lash out at them or angrily debate them, there are better ways to handle these situations.

Remember, you don’t know what’s going on in their life and what made them act the way they’re acting. This is a fact of life and doesn’t necessarily reflect on you as a person, so there’s no need to take it too personally. Know yourself and your own worth and hold your head up high.

Dance in the rain: You can’t change other people’s opinions, no matter how much you want to. The best way to deal with them is to not worry about it and continue doing what you’re doing. Let them stay mad or sad or jealous, because there’s nothing you can do to change their minds. Rain falls on everyone, haters gonna hate.

So many artists and people in general worry about what other people think of them. It is natural to be a little concerned about what others think about you, but it’s important to not dwell on it or let it consume you. People are going to have their own opinions on you, it is what it is. The only opinion that matters is your own, so keep doing what you love and be confident in yourself.

Do you have any other tips on how to deal with haters? Do you disagree with anything said in this post?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Sources & references used in this article:

Burnout and its relations with basic psychological needs and motivation among athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis by C Li, CKJ Wang, YH Kee – Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2013 – Elsevier

The psychological interface between the coach-created motivational climate and the coach-athlete relationship in team sports by A Olympiou, S Jowett, JL Duda – … sport psychologist, 2008 – journals.humankinetics.com

Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science: Sport Psychology by BW Brewer – 2009 – books.google.com

Coaching effectiveness: Exploring the relationship between coaching behavior and self-determined motivation. by AJ Amorose – 2007 – psycnet.apa.org

Leaving the disability ghetto: A qualitative study of factors underlying achievement motivation among athletes with disabilities by SJ Page, E O’Connor… – Journal of Sport and …, 2001 – journals.sagepub.com