Motivation is one thing that we often hear in conferences and various TV talk shows. Many motivators teach us how we can stay motivated regardless of the obstacles. But what is motivation and how can we keep ourselves motivated? There are two different categories of motivation. Intrinsic motivation is generated from within us and it’s the most preferable form. Coaches always try to develop intrinsic motivation among athletes. It allows them to feel responsible for their actions and they will be unwilling to skip training sessions, because they understand the benefit being completely motivated. People who have strong intrinsic motivation don’t require external rewards to keep themselves motivated. They are happy with internal rewards, such as self assessment and conscience. There is also external motivation that relies on values and rewards like entertainment, goods, money and trophies. This type of motivation should be applied only for children or adults who are struggling to switch from sedentary lifestyle to a more active one.
However, in many cases, intrinsic motivation always prevails compared to the extrinsic one. This will help us to achieve constant development and remove any obstacle that could prevent us from travelling on the road to success. To become a really good athlete, many of them need to have ten years of quality practice, often since childhood. This will allow us to achieve the level of skill displayed by professional athletes at relatively young age. Such an effort can’t be sustained only through external motivation. There are many difficulties that we need to cope during ten years of practice.
Intrinsic motivation also allows us to pay attention on many small details, such as our nutritional level, mental skills and overall conditioning. This is a small example of how important internal motivation can be for typical athletes. They need to sacrifice their hobbies, lifestyle, friends and even family to maintain professionalism in sports. They need to travel to many countries and cities to play in tournaments. Some of their decisions can have significant impacts on their future life, so without strong motivation, it isn’t possible to get results that we deserve.
One of the most serious mistakes is that we focus too much on results. In many cases, athletes could fail to lose their goals and lose more than a few matches. Obviously, winning is essential to give us a boost of motivation, but there are times when we can’t avoid having a string of defeats. It won’t be possible to go through this situation without having a strong internal motivation. Focusing solely on performance and achievements in terms of new skills acquitted can keep us on track. In fact, internal motivation could help us to find extra power during an important game, even if things seem to go against us. Achievements in sports are a long-term process and although each win provides a huge dose of mental energy, we should also be able to manage defeats. In fact, we should appreciate our failures, because they are the only thing that can help us to honestly assess ourselves.