Other Psychological Aspects

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Other Psychological Aspects

Irrespective of whether a person is being taught or coached with the best facilities available, learning will not take place unless the learner is motivated.

Motivation is the driving force that compels people to do something.

People are motivated by different things, some purely for the satisfaction of doing something and others for the possible rewards.

Motivation can take two forms:

  1. Intrinsic Motivation

    It is the challenges, satisfaction, sense of achievement and a desire to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle that drives many people to take part in physical activities and sport.

    This is known as intrinsic motivation: it comes from inside the performer.

  2. Extrinsic Motivation

    Some people are driven by the rewards: financial gains, trophies and medals and other award schemes such as those seen in schools, peer groups and family.

    This is known as extrinsic motivation: it comes from outside the performer.

Arousal levels in sport are important.

Too little arousal causes the level of involvement to be low.

Too higher level of arousal could cause control of behaviour to be lost.

Studies have shown that there is an optimum level of arousal and this has produced the inverted 'U' theory and clearly links levels of performance with levels of arousal.

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Different sports and sportspeople require different arousal levels. A shot putter will have to raise his arousal level before stepping into the circle. A snooker player will need to keep her arousal level low before striking the cue ball.

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To continue developing and improving as a performer, setting targets and goals can provide an aim to the necessary training and therefore enhance motivation.

The National Coaching Foundation (NCF) believe in setting goals in sport is important and use the SMARTER system.

Specific: Goals should be focused and specific

Measurable: There must be some assessment that so that progress can be judged

Accepted: The goals must be jointly set between performer and coach

Realistic: The performer must be able to achieve the goals

Time phased: Target dates should be set for goals to be achieved

Exciting: The performer should see the goals as challenging and rewarding

Recorded: Goals should be written so that coach and performer can judge progress

Personality characteristics are those that lead people when placed in similar circumstances to react or behave in different ways.

Eysenck suggests there are two main personality traits:

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Answering the questions of Eysenck's personality test can determine where an individual falls in this two dimensional model.

Sports psychologists have tried to link personality types with different sport types in order to identify the best people for the sport.

There has been little success with this approach.

In general it is thought that introverts prefer:

  1. Individual sports

  2. Sports with intricate skills

  3. Sports with restricted movements

  4. Routine and repetitive sports

In general it is thought that extroverts prefer:

  1. Team sports

  2. Whole body activities

  3. Sports with a lot of movement

  4. Sports with high levels of excitment

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