Motivating Athletes Do and Don ts

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					Chapter #3: Motivating Athletes (Do’s
            and Don’ts)

    From Mark H Anshell’s book Sport Psychology
Typical Examples of motivation in

   Intimidation
   Threats
   Criticism
   Guilt
   Physical Abuse
 Purpose of this chapter:

  It is to offer a scientific basis for motivation and
   to recommend strategies that will favorably
   influence the athlete’s feelings and actions.
What is Motivation?
 Motivation is defined as the tendency for the direction
  and selectivity of behavior to be controlled by its
  connections to consequences, and the tendency of this
  behavior to persist until a goal is achieved.
 Direction of Motivation: refers to the purpose and the
  desired actions of the activity.
 Selectivity of Behavior: Deciding which tasks to perform
 Purpose of Motivation is to prolong desirable feelings
  and actions of athletes.
What is Motivation?
 Use coaching Strategies that make physical fitness
  fun and enjoyable
 For athlete’s to feel motivated, they should be
  involved in an activity in which they can achieve
  short term and long term goals.
 Purpose of Goals: provide direction for effort and
  the incentive to persist and achieve.
What is Motivation?
 Motive: is the individual’s anticipation of meeting
    some goal.
           It is the function of how important the athlete considers the
            consequences of certain actions and how strongly the performer
            desires (approach motive) or resist (avoidance motive) these
 Most Challenging Motivational Task: Is for coaches
    to motivate every team member, and athletes to
    motivate themselves, by feeling that the performer’s
    efforts will lead to meeting desirable goals
What is Motivation?
 Coach can foster incentive in an athlete by pointing
  out the specific ways in which certain behaviors can
  lead to goals and outcomes that the performer finds
 Athletes can improve incentive by engaging in
  activities they find pleasant and have realistic
 Make Goals Realistic
Sources of Motivation:

 Motivation is not simply a matter of personality
 type. Rather, there are likely a set of personal
 characteristics and situational factors that foster
 motivation, separately and jointly.
Sources of Motivation:
 Participant Centered View: or trait centered
      Holds that if individuals do not have what it takes to
         reach goals and perform at their best, there is nothing
         anyone can do to “make” this happen.
      Individual desire is the first and foremost
         characteristic of motivation.
Sources of Motivation:
 Participant Centered View: or trait centered view

     Personal attributes that separate more
      motivated Ind. from less motivated Ind.

          High level of need achievement
          Goal orientation
          Self confidence
          Competence
          Optimism
          Positive expectancies
          Competitiveness (particularly in skilled athletes)
Sources of Motivation:
o Situational View:
     This View holds that personal attributes are insufficient
      predictors of motivation.

     Individuals with high propensity to be motivated will not
      exhibit this characteristic unless the situation of
      environment fosters it.

     Main Limitation of the situational view: situations DO
      NOT always influence a competitor’s motivation. Some
      situations are quite unpleasant yet some athletes remain
      motivated despite negative experiences or negative
Sources of Motivation:
o Interaction View:
     This View Holds: Motivation results from the
     combination of personal and situational factors

     Motivation is more likely if individual possesses
     certain characteristics and if they are in a situation that
     is supportive of and nurtures their desires.

     Negative reinforcement does not usually have
     motivational effect, but is some times required to
     motivate athletes.
Sources of Motivation:
o Interaction View:

    Two short Comings to negative reinforcement:

       It only has short term effects and is there only as long as the
        threat remains.

       Threat creates extrinsic, not intrinsic, incentive (the reason
        for the activity is based on achieving some external reward).
 Summary: Motivation in sport is dependent upon
  meeting the athlete’s personal needs and objectives
  while pursuing a certain predetermined course of
  action, responding to the coach’s leadership, and
  possessing necessary feelings and attitudes associated
  with performance success.
Theories of Motivation:
o Need Achievement:

    One Characteristic of successful athletes: is their high
     need to achieve referred to as achievement motivation
    Success is in the mind of the beholder

    Individual is responsible for determining their own
     achievement behavior
    Low achievement competitors will not interpret losing as
     failure because they did not even try.
    It is optimal level of effort that should determine success
     and not always the outcome.
Theories of Motivation:
  High need achievers:

     Usually experience more pleasure in success

     Have fewer and weaker physiological symptoms of

     Feel responsible for the outcomes of their own

     Prefer to know about their success or failure almost
     immediately after performance

     Prefer situations that contain some risk about result.
Theories of Motivation:
  Approach Motives: Individual acts to bring about
   pleasurable experiences.
  Avoidance Motives: actions serve to prevent something
   unpleasant from happening.
  A person can have a high need to achieve but, due to past
   history of failure, have low motive to achieve. In fact
   their expectancy for success would probably be quite
  Unless the high need achiever with low motive finds a
   sport in which he/she is successful, the person will tend
   to stop participating in sport altogether. (The fear of
   failure - avoidance Motive phenomenon)
Theories of Motivation:
  Separating the High and Low Need Achiever:

     Looks at the areas of:

       o Motivational orientation
       o Attributional tendencies
       o Type of preferred goals
       o Task choice
       o Performance outcomes in evaluative
Theories of Motivation:

 Found differences between high and low
 need achievers, using the symbol for need
 achievement Nach.
Theories of Motivation:
   Motivational Orientation:

     o High Nach:

         Have high motivation to achieve, low motivation to
          experience failure, and possess great pride in their

         They explain success due to high ability, and failure due
          to bad luck or high task difficulty (casual attributions)

         Task Preferred goals: relate to the level of task mastery
          and seek out challenges, and do well in evaluative
Theories of Motivation:
 Motivational Orientation:

     o Low Nach:

         Have low motivation for success, comfortable with or
          desire failure, and focus on shame and worry what
          may result from failure.
         Attribute success to an easy task or good luck and
          failure to poor ability (causal attributions)
         Outcome Preferred goals: prefer to avoid challenges
          or perform very difficult tasks to avoid responsibility
          for performance failure, and do not do well under
Theories of Motivation:
  Reinforcing Achievement Motivation:

     Need to achieve should be reinforced by:

       o Creating challenging goals
       o Teaching skills that lead to performance improvement
         and success
       o Giving positive feedback on performance and avoid
         negative remarks
       o Allowing for risk taking behaviors and learning from
         the outcomes good or bad.
       o Creating situations in which the athlete feels successful
         ensuring that at the end of a practice or an event the
         person fells a sense of competence.
Theories of Motivation:
o Competence Motivation:

    White (1959) The theories purpose is that behavior is
     directed, selective, and persistent owing to “an intrinsic
     need to deal with the environment”.
    Harter (1981)Theory claims that individuals are motivated
     by, and attempt to exhibit, skill mastery in achievement
     situations such as sport.
    Individuals high in perceptions of competence and degree
     of self control in the sport environment will exert more
     effort, persist longer, and experience more positive feelings
     than individuals lower in perceived competence and self
Theories of Motivation:
  Goal Orientation:

     Refers to the extent to which an athlete is motivated
     by setting and then meeting goals

     Reflects two thought processes:

       o The athlete’s achievement goals
       o His/her perceived ability
Theories of Motivation:
   High Goal Orientation:

    oSet a challenging realistic goal

    oFeel a moderate to high degree of certainty
     about meeting goal based on perceived

    oWill select a task

    oPersist at that task with optimal effort until goal is achieved.
Theories of Motivation:
   Goal orientation can become stronger or weaker at any
    given time, specific task, or within a given context.

   Ego Involvement: the thought process that drives the
    athlete’s goal orientation.

   Perception is influenced by improving ones abilities in
    one of two ways:

      o Improvement over time (task involvement) rather than current

      o Demonstrating competence based on proving current ability
        by outperforming others. (ego involvement)
 Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

 Is about understanding the connection b/t a
   person’s thoughts and how these thoughts
          influence his or her actions.
 Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
o Deci’s Theory:

    It is predicted on two primary drives that provide
    the person with the energy for goal directed
    behavior and they are:

       To Feel competent and to be self determining in coping and
        interacting with one’s environment

    Two processes by which extrinsic rewards can
    affect IM:

       Controlling function and informational function
 Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

  o Intrinsic Motivation
  o Extrinsic Motivation
  o Fig 3.2 pg 85 Reasons for participation
 Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
o Sport Motivation Scale (SMS):

    Persons who persist are intrinsically motivated

    Imagery and mental rehearsal can increase
    persistence and self confidence

    Imagery may produce self evaluations that are
    higher and more realistic.
 Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
  Controlling Function:

    Intrinsic motivation
    Extrinsic motivators can shift the person’s reasons
     for participation from internal to external.
    Recipient should feel rewarded for accomplishing a
     task, meeting a goal, or demonstrating competence.
    Recognition and approval can successfully replace
     rewards if used often and consistently over time.
   Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
o Information Function:

    Contends that people are attracted to activities in
    which they feel successful

    Rewards can have the same favorable effect on IM if
    they increase the persons feelings of competence and
    self worth

    Rewards can foster IM if they provide all participants
    with some recognition for demonstrating success in
    improvement, effort, or proper skill execution.
   Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
 Information Function:
   Self Determination:
      Is concerned with the extent to which the individual
       perceives that he/she controls the reasons for engaging in the
      High self determination accompanies high IM
      Central to promoting self determination and IM is
       encouraging “full engagement” by athletes and preventing
       feelings of alienation.
      Third component: Functional Significance of the Event or
       external reason for participating
 Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
o Application of Deci’s Theory:

   Factors that may facilitate IM:

      Reason  for participation: (Task vs
       Ego orientation)
      Controlling Function: (Task vs Ego
    Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
   Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
 Factors that may facilitate IM Continued:
     Information Function: (Perceived ability and
     encouraging remarks)

       o Keep the message positive:

             Give token rewards to everyone, but avoid
              making the reward the reason for
              participation and instead a recognition of

             Offer verbal recognition
  Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
 Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
 Four Primary Points about the concept of

   1.Humans are motivationally complex

     a. There are several types of motivation that vary in
       types and levels of generality.

     b. 3 levels of generality (global, contextual,
     Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
    Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
2. Motivation is both intrapersonal – reflecting a
  person’s disposition to feel motivated - and social
  – determined by the context, or setting, within
  which the person is motivated.
 Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
3. Vallerdand’s Model: is that motivation leads to
  important consequences, each of which may occur
  at the three levels of generality:

   a. Global: athlete may feel an inherent need to be
     physically active or to be competitive

   a. Contextual: athlete may feel intrinsically
     motivated in certain types of sports but not others
 Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

4. Instances of Situational Intrinsic motivation
 will facilitate contextual intrinsic motivation

   a. If an athlete gets a hit with the bases loaded
     to win the game, the high competence
     shown will transfer into higher contextual
     intrinsic motivation in another sport.
    Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
   Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Amotivated: athlete fails to see the connection b/t
 outcomes and actions, the athlete is neither intrinsic or
 extrinsically motivated. They feel it is out of their

According to the Hierarchical model building IM

   Autonomy: the youngster decides on the area of
    participation (self determination)

   Competence: by receiving uplifting messages

   Social Factor: positive interactions with team mates
The Science of Goal Setting:
o Goal setting is an aspect of motivation aimed at
  focusing the performer’s effort and providing a
  means to monitor progress or success

o Most quality competitors tend to set goals but they
  also use correct guidelines for doing so

o Elite athletes correctly set higher and more realistic
  goals then less skilled counterparts.
The Science of Goal Setting:
 Kyllo and Landers (1995):

   Concluded that setting even moderate goals led to significant
    performance improvements

   Performance was optimal when goals were:

     Set in absolute terms
     Short term as well as long term
     Set with the participation of the subject
     Made public
The Science of Goal Setting:
 Burton (1992):
        Every goal includes two basic components:
             Direction and the amount or quality indicates a
              minimal standard of performance that is
              anticipated and desired.
        Goal Orientation: dispositions for participating in
         an activity based on an underlying motive for what
         the person wants to obtain.
        Burton links the dispositions of need achievement
         with goal orientation in his concept of goal setting
         styles (GSS)
The Science of Goal Setting:
   The foundation of GSS is:

     Perceived competence: is responsible for
     motivational behaviors

          A persons goal orientations are thought to
           influence how perceived ability develops and
           how it affects achievement behavior.

          Individuals possess one of two goal orientations
The Science of Goal Setting:
  Goal Setting Strategies:

     Use performance not outcome:
     Be realistic
     Negotiate (the goal based on past performances)
     Make goals Challenging
     Make goals specific to the type and demands of
      the task
     Ensure goal “Ownership”
     Make Goals short term and long term
     Teach goal setting techniques to coaches and
The Science of Goal Setting:
 Team Goals:
  o Coaches and athletes do not tend to establish team goals that are
    specific and measurable.
  o Individual and team goals may be compatible and mutually
  o Team goals are effective under practice conditions as well as
  o Player satisfaction with team goals was higher with improved
    clarity of the goals, and when the players believed that the goal is
  o Player participation in team goal setting was related to improved
    task and social team cohesion.
The Science of Goal Setting:
 How Not to Motivate Athletes:

  Myth #1: Exercise for punishment
  Myth #2: The Pre Game Pep Talk
  Myth #3: Cut’em Down and Build Them Up
  Myth #4: Our Goal is to Win
  Myth #5: Treating Team Players Differently
The Science of Goal Setting:
 Myth #6: If they don’t Complain, They are Happy
 Myth #7: What Do Athletes Know Anyway
 Myth #8: the Post Game Rampage
 Myth #9: The Napoleon Complex
 Myth #10: Fear
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
o Important Ingredients to a Coach
 Athlete relationship:

   Communicating effectively
   Teaching Skills
   Rewarding Players with praise
   Dwelling on Strengths not weaknesses
   Appearing Organized and in control
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
 Important Ingredients to a Coach Athlete

     Inserting occasional times for fun and humor

     Developing mutual respect b/t coach and

     Knowing when to take a break and when to
     give the athletes a day off
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
 Important Ingredients to a Coach Athlete

   Supporting the athletes after errors and losses
   as well as upon making good plays and

   Setting limits fairly and consistently on
   inappropriate behaviors

   Not embarrassing, intimidating, or criticizing
   the character of an athlete.
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
o Effective Techniques for motivating

   Get to know each performer
   Plan it out
   Agree on future directions and actions
   Develop skills
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
 Effective Techniques for motivating athletes:

   Everybody needs recognition
   Discipline is not a four letter word (set
    consistent fair boundaries)
   Perceptions are everything
   Make it fun
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
 Effective Techniques for motivating

  Consistency and sensitivity are signs of
  Winning is not the only thing
  Beware of the self fulfilling prophecy
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams

o Motivating the Non Starter:

   Psychological problems that nonstarters have:

      Frustration, alienation, futility, and loss of
       self confidence

   Help every sub fell that they are important to
    the team
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
 To motivate the non starter:
    Avoid labeling anyone a sub
    Starters should have no more privileges than anyone
    Provide them with opportunity to learn and demo
    Make sure they feel that they are not wasting time
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
 Strategies for Motivation Non starters:
    Giving them feelings of importance to the
    Indicating that the are contributing in some
     meaningful way
    Provide opportunities to learn, improve and
     demo skills
    Promoting positive and challenging future
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
o Team Motivation:

    Compatible Group and Personal Goals:

         Develop team goals before individual goals

    Agreement on Team Goals:

    Dealing with Group Heterogeneity:

    Awareness of Role:
Strategies for Motivating Athletes
            and Teams
 Planning Interaction:

 Allowing for Team –Coach Communication:

 Before the Contest: pre game talk

 After the Contest: do not go on a rant

    Be honest, constructive, short, and positive.