Is motivation more important than ability in a successful competitive performance?

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Is motivation more important than ability in a successful competitive performance?

Motivation is one of the most important aspects of a competitive performance. Motivation has many different meanings depending how it is used and what it is related to. In sport motivation is hugely important if you want to succeed at a high level. Motivation can be described as being inspired to do something; this can be intrinsic or extrinsic.

 Extrinsic motivators are factors from outside the performer. They give the individual an extrinsic reward such as money, medals, prizes or fame. The motivation comes from the prospect of being rewarded.

 Intrinsic motivation comes from within the performer. The performer gets personal enjoyment from the sport, even if they have no ability, if they enjoy it and have fun then they will be motivated to carry on with the sport, it doesn’t matter if they have natural ability or not. Motivation whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic has different effects on an athlete, which can be positive or negative including whether or not they continue with their sport.

Another aspect that does need to be mentioned is arousal and self-motivation. Arousal is the level of psychological readiness and we can be over or under aroused which can lead to an improved or decreased performance and too better or worse concentration. Motivation will affect our level of arousal, as motivation leads to a state of arousal, depending on the level of adrenaline produced. Self-motivation is known as the motivation from within and according to Cratty (1989) we are motivated to take part in sport because of a desire to achieve a sense of mastery, gain status, friendship and excitement. Self-motivation is the drive to succeed, achieve your best and gain personal satisfaction. These are the main factors which contribute when we start out in a sport.

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An athletes motivation often predicts their attendance to that particular sport for example an intrinsically motivated boxer such as Joe Calazagi trains very hard and his fights must be painful, so what motivates him to continually push his body physically? Another good example is Evander Holyfield at the age of thirty-eight many boxers would have retired long ago but his motivation, desire and love of boxing still drives him on. Both these fighters gain personal enjoyment and whenever talk of retirement is mentioned they sweep it under the carpet. Whereas a less ...

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