No matter how intrinsically motivated an individual can say they are, motivational strategies are used no matter what situation or environment. Specific strategies can have an immense effect on an individual, especially within a sporting environment. As we know, with the majority of sports there is an element of psychological competition, some in more sports than others.
As an athlete, I know that when in competition athletes will try all ways to psyche out or over power there opponents mentally before competition in a hope to diminish there performance, a few athletes do find this difficult, thus they find ways to over come and find motivational strategies. Goal setting, attribution training, self talk and extrinsic rewards are all motivational strategies; I would have to say, in my opinion, the most used motivational strategy would be; attribution training and self talk.
This is because, most athletes already know there skill or sport to be performed and so perform it over and over and any imperfections or adjustments that come up need to be trained correctly according to the ‘imperfection’, self talk would be another big motivational strategy used by an athlete as most of the time, they must say to themselves, “I can do this”, or “keep this up and twist here”, “come on I know I can do it”, constantly going through mental rehearsals in their head and boosting there confidence.
However this is not to say that the remaining motivational strategies are not used, goal setting can be another effective motivational trick. Many athletes use the SMART rule in order to achieve there goals or as a way of setting out how to achieve them. S – Stands for specific, thus we must make the goal specific to what we want to achieve, to simply say “I want to win a gold medal” is too big of a goal (long term). M – Stands for measurable; make sure the goal is able to be reached easily “I want to run 100m in under 11 seconds”
A – Stands for, agreed, this is when another member of your team or coach can agree that the goal set is good and you are happy with if not it must be changed. R – Stands for realistic, this is a goal that can be achieved and is not an unrealistic goal, and you are capable of it. T – Stands for time, what type of time phase do you have, have you set yourself four weeks to reach it or longer or shorter, this must also be accounted for. Also looking at extrinsic rewards, this again is another effective motivational strategy, however not one that I admire.
I think this is because, one can get dependant on external rewards and ‘gifts’ in order to complete a task successfully, I also feel there’s an age limit with this type of motivation. For children I believe this can be an effective drive to succeed, or behave or complete a task correctly, however once an individual understands the task but has learned that if he completes it well he/she does not get an extrinsic reward than this effort and enthusiasm will be lost, thus we must strive to motivate and encourage individuals of all ages with realistic motivational strategies that can help a person/athlete.