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Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation


Motivation is a combination of the drive within us to achieve our aims and the outside factors that affect it (Ruskin, Proctor & Neeves, 2007). Research indicates that motivation is impacted by the following two forms:

Intrinsic motivation


Intrinsic motivation comes from within an individual and involves the individuals interest and enjoyment of the task. Some individuals are motivated by challenges, such as becoming competent at the task or skill (Morris & Summers, 1995). Therefore the best way to develop an athletes’ intrinsic motivation is to understand what athletes need from sport.  Research evidence describe that athletes seek to fulfil four primary needs for participating in sport (Burton & Raedeke, 2008):


1.       Fun and Stimulation

Having fun and developing skills is one of the most important reason athletes participate in sport. Wise coaches know that meeting athletes’ need for fun enhances motivation, however it is also critical that athletes practice to learn and improve skills. Therefore a good coach must find unique ways to facilitate skill development in a way that athletes will find fun. Here are some examples:

·         Use developmental progressions by creating challenges that progress from simple to complex activities.

·         Keep training sessions stimulating by implementing a variety of activities.

·         Teach fundamentals by game like activities that target the involved skills to enhance performance ability.

·         Keep everyone active to reduce boredom.

·         Allow time for athletes to just play a game, without receiving evaluation or feedback from the coach.


If an athlete enjoys sport they may become more motivated and if they are further motivated then they will improve (Burton & Raedeke, 2008).

2.       Acceptance and Belonging

Through sport athletes hope to fulfil their need for acceptance and belonging. This need can be met if athletes feel they fit in and are accepted by other members on their team. The primary reason some athletes participate in sport is because they enjoy being with their friends and being part of a team. Coaches can use this need as a motivational tool (Burton & Raedeke, 2008).

3.       Control and Autonomy

This need requires that athletes have control over their own lives and their own course of behaviour. Once an individual has chosen to participate in sport, they need to have ownership and feel they have a say in decisions affecting their involvement. One of the best ways to increase motivation is to help athletes build personal responsibility. This can be done by using strategies such as, involving athletes in decision making, providing choice and requesting their contribution. For example, allow opportunities for athletes to have a say in developing their own training program and game strategies, evaluating training sessions and performances (Burton & Raedeke, 2008).


4.      Competent and Successful

This involves an athlete having a positive perception of their own skills and abilities and feeling competent of succeeding in their chosen sport.  If an athlete feels like they are a failure, then it is unlikely they will maintain their hard work or remain playing sport. For example, always being selected first by another peer contributes to feeling competent, whereas routinely being selected last may impact an athletes motivation, which may result in walking away from sport. Athletes perceived competence level could be raised through success at challenging task, positive feedback from their coach and parental approval (Burton & Raedeke, 2008).
Research indicates that most children and adolescents are more than likely to participate in sport due to internal motivation rather than external factors. Sport or physical activities provide both children and adolescents a continuing source of enjoyment, which adequately motivates the individual to sustain their effort and interest (Ruskin, Proctor & Neeves, 2007).

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation is primarily determined by external sources that impact individual’s choice to be involved in sport, such as parents and peers approval, material rewards, and a competitive emphasis on winning (Morris & Summers, 1995). Extrinsic rewards are commonly used in sports world wide. The reward could be in the form of financial payment, trophies, ribbons, medals, clothing (jackets) or even praise from the coach (Ruskin, Proctor & Neeves, 2007; Wann, 1997; Weinberg & Gould, 2007). In the schooling environment teachers regularly handout stickers or toys to reinforce appropriate behaviour of their students (Weinberg & Gould, 2007). The use of rewards can produce some desired behaviour changes in sport, however if they are used incorrectly, it can sometimes have a negative effect on an athletes intrinsic motivation (Morris & Summers, 1995; Wann, 1997; Weinberg & Gould. 2007). That is, when an individual is performing a task because of intrinsic motivation, then rewarding the individual (with an extrinsic reward) for performing the activity could lower the person’s intrinsic motivation (Wann, 1997). Therefore, it is believed that athletes who practice to improve their performance are likely to remain motivated than those who perform to gain rewards from external sources (Ruskin, Proctor & Neeves, 2007; Weinberg & Gould, 2007).

Tiger Woods Interview


Quick Video Questions- Tiger Woods Interview


Identify the type of motivation (Intrinsically or extrinsically) behind Tiger Woods amazing achievements.


What might Woods have learnt from his parents that he could then apply to his golf performance?


Identify some of the positive attributes Woods must possess to overcome obstacles during a tournament?



Study worksheets are attached, press (+) symbol to expand the 'attachments' folder below and then click 'download'.

kurt Costello,
Dec 9, 2009, 10:18 PM
kurt Costello,
Dec 9, 2009, 10:20 PM
kurt Costello,
Dec 9, 2009, 10:21 PM