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Motivation and Personality

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P1. Personality is the sum of those characteristics that make a person unique. Personality has been defined as “an individual’s characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, behaviour, together with the psychological mechanisms. Personality has many different characteristics that make an individual different to others these can be positive and negative for example being shy can be a negative effect on sport as you don’t give yourself enough motivation or even motivation to others, however being confident in sports can benefit them as individuals and the people around them as you can motivate others as your confident to do that.

These are called characteristics. Personality has many different theories and views, the ones I will mention are Martens Schematic view, Psychodynamic theory, Trait theory, Situational approach and Interactional approach. Marten’s Schematic view:

Personality is seen as having three different levels that are related to each other:
• Psychological core
• Typical responses
• Role-related behaviour

Psychological core is bottom of the Martens Schematic view grid. The psychological core happens constantly its what you are like for real, its your attitudes toward things, your beliefs and interests of what you are doing, this all happens from inside the brain as it send demands to the rest of the body.

This is internal as only you can control them. Typical responses is the middle of the base of the grid, typical responses is external as you cant control them as it’s the environment around you and what situation you find yourself in, and how you will react to the situation you find yourself in for example will it improve performance in sports or will it have a negative factor on it this is all due to the responses and the external thoughts.

This links to psychological core as it’s the response you have to it when something happens, for example in a game of football the weather could be very bad and windy this would be external which can effect the match and players, and the players could find themselves in bad situations throughout the match then their minds switch off due to the weather and then you find your psychological core giving you different attitudes to the game which could lead to a role related behaviour, the outcome of the match being very bad, as they could make the wrong decisions.

The psychodynamic approach says that personality is made up of conscious and unconscious parts. Instinctive drive which is also known as ID, this is unconscious, this makes you do things without thinking about them for example if you were in a game your mind can make the wrong decisions for example giving someone a bad pass or doing a very bad tackle. However you can be conscious and find your super ego taking over your thoughts and feeling about a big game or a big situation your in, for example if you were to take a penalty in football, your conscious will take over as you will be nervous about if you will score or miss and let the team down, this is all down to your super ego.

The next theory is trait theory. Trait theory is something you’re born with and is inherited at birth; also it will also stay the same due to genetics. Trait theory has got different ways of comparing personality, one theory was made by Eysenck, this man put personality into four different categories these are Neurotic, Extrovert, Introvert and Stable. Neurotic is a person that is unpredictable which means that one week they could play outstanding and the next week like could play dreadful, the next one is Extrovert, this is different types of characteristics these are loud, outgoing and confident, however Introverts are the shy and quiet types, these people who are highly concentrated.

Stable is people you can rely on that will give a good performance all the time, they are predictable. For example Joey Barton is more a neurotic and extroverted sportsman as he is loud and confident but however you cannot rely on him has he does such bad tackles. The next theory which was made for personality is the narrow band theory; type A and B, this theory was made by Girdano.

Type A

The people that fall into this personality are usually very impatient, very competitive and have a strong urge to win, they also have huge desire to achieve goals that people have set them or that they have set themselves. They also like complete tasks that have been set to them as quickly as possible as they feel they have the need to achieve, they will happily multi-task when placed under heavy time constraints. They also lack tolerance towards other people and also tend to experience higher levels of anxiety.

Type B

People who are type B are the type of people who tend to be more tolerant towards other people and have a lot more patience. They are a lot more relaxed than their type a counterparts. They don’t experience as much anxiety as Type A and therefore will not be stressed as much and more laid back, they have been known to experience and display higher levels of imagination and creativity.

The next theory is Situational approach. Situational approach is the complete opposite to trait theory as trait theory is more internal and situational approach is more about external and about the environment; however you cannot predict a sports person’s behaviour. Situational approach is split up into two groups one of them is modelling which is where people show off there personality by trying to act like someone else and try to impersonate they’re look, the other group is reinforcement this group is important to individuals as if they do something good such as a good goal, they will be praised by the people around them then this will want to make the reinforce that, and do that again to look good, this group has a great deal of motivation required.

However a man called Bandura came up with four different stages on how modelling can affect personality and behaviour, this theory is called social learning theory. Bandura theory is about how we observe someone’s behaviour or how they act and people copy it.

There are four stages that he made the first one is Attention- this is where we learn through observing someone, the next stage is Retention- this is where we retain on what we just saw and remember what’s happened, the next stage is Motor reproduction- this is where you will try to physically perform well in the task that you’ve just observed, then the last stage is Motivational responses- this is what feedback you get back off others and what your have been rewarded with at the end of a good physical performance, the more positive feedback you get back the more you try to reinforce that move or something you did good.

Interactionist approach is the next theory. Interactional approach requires different types of personality behaviour and also how to adapt to the situations we find ourselves in. This theory is a combination of trait and situational theory.

The theory involves different roles which are determination, behaviour and personality, for example its easy to see other people’s behaviour than see there personality’s as you could see how people react in sporting situations but it could be hard to get they’re personality right, as you could have a very shy, lied back person who scored an amazing goal but they could react to that goal in a postive way and act more like a type a person from Girdano theory this goes by they’re behaviour. There is no direct link between personality and a successful in sporting performance as there is different types of personality which can be attached more to a certain sport, however personality can make you a better athlete just by your characteristics and genetics.

Athletes Vs Non athletes

Introvert athletes are usually drawn to individual sports compared to non athletes as they have been drawn to more extroverted individual sports. Eysenck et al suggested that individuals that had a high score in the area of extroversion are more likey to part take in sporting activities where as compared to people who have a low score. Elite vs. Non-elite

It has been suggested that the more successful athletes have lower levels of depression, fatigue and anger this due to high levels of vigour. This suggestion may not be true as it was only tested on some sporting participants.

Type A vs. B

They suggest that type A vs. type B is not linked into sporting situations but they have suggested that type A people will suffer more from heart diseases due to high level of stress where as type B continue to participate in sport even though its unfavourable meaning they haven’t got motivation to do that sport of activity anymore.


Motivation has recently been defined as the direction and the intensity of our efforts. When you look at definitions of motivation they refer to having a drive and a success to play or take part in some type of activity. A sport definition is: ‘the tendency of an individual or team to begin and then carry on with the activities relating to their sport’ There are three different types of motivation, they are;

Trait Centred, Situation Centred view and Interactional View Trait Centred- Trait centred motivation is down to an individual’s characteristics. Characteristics play a big role in motivation as person need a big level of motivation and have goals to set themselves, then to receive them goals the need to aim high to get there but this requires a lot of self motivation. An individual with high goals aim to be a real winners and receive trophies, prices and money.

The next theory is Situation Centred View: Situation centred view is motivation you get by the situation you find yourself in. For example if you had a coach or a manager that did not like you or you didn’t like them, it can affect the motivation of the individual as the isn’t receiving good feedback for the coach which means the individuals cant develop on what they have said. The Situational factors include the coaching style, winning success and the environment.

If you’re not highly motivated from coaches then this could lead to no success and not winning anything. The next theory is Interactional View: The interactional view is basically the two factors (Trait centred and Situation) combined. It’s involved the personality factors (trait) and then the situational approach is involved and combines as well. The situational side is the situations you find yourself in for example if you win or lose a game, and how you can improve on that, and the trait view is how you aim for you goals to get that win that you wanted. Extrinsic, Achievement, Intrinsic

Intrinsic -motivation is when a sports player is taking part in a sport and there is no external reward. Intrinsic motivation in its best form is when and athlete or participates in sport primarily for the enjoyment and fun and love for the game, Ryan Giggs plays purely for the love of the game and his achievements in his career reflects it. Extrinsic motivation is the way a sports player behaves because they are given a reward, money or medal for taking part. The most common form of extrinsic motivation is because of the use of tangible and intangible rewards. Tangible rewards are things that would be physically given to you such as: Money- tangible, Medals- tangible, Trophies- tangible- Praise- intangible, Encouragement- intangible Congratulations- intangible.


Motivation that comes from a person’s personality and it is the individual’s motivation to strive for success and achieve personal goals that they have set themselves. This is the drive that keeps athletes going even when there is a blockage in their way or even when they do experience failure. Atkinson grouped athletes in two categories:

Nach – Need to achieve, these are the people that thrive on a challenge. They are usually determined, quick workers who take risks and enjoy being assessed. Most sports people fall into this group. Naf – Need to avoid failure, these people tend to avoid challenges because they do not want to risk failing. They are slow workers who avoid responsibility, are easily dissuaded from taking part and do not like being assessed.

Attribution Theory

this will help to categorise the reasons that the players give for winning and losing. Attribution theory can define the causes of events and players behaviour. It is very important to sports players because it affects effort and performance that the players put into the game and training and big oncoming events. Locus of causality, or the internal and external dimension

Internal reasons are down to the performers control and it is also felt that a bit of personal influence which may be added to the outcome (the effort that a player puts into the game). External reasons are what happens but is not in the control of the players efforts (referees decisions or facilities) Stability or the stable and unstable dimension

Stable reasons which are based on a player’s memory which are based on the success or unsuccessful of players efforts in the short term (A team that usually do not win) Unstable reasons are changeable in the short term (the amount of luck the team gets) if the reasons the team wins/loses can be changed, we could expect a different outcome the next time and the players will want to continue want to improve because they like to win.

Wieners Attribution Theory

as a head coach it is very important you know about the Attribution Theory as this will help you and the players to improve the ability to motivate our players and the expectations of them by telling you about Wieners Attribution Theory. This is wiener attribution grid: | Internal| External|

Stable| Ability| Task Difficulty|
Unstable| Effort| Luck|
| | |
Effects on sports performance

Positive- The positive effect on sport is that participants are motivated to play, perform and train and high levels, the motivational levels comes from managers, coaches and it’s their roles to make sure that the athletes are at optimal level of motivation, without going through side effects, such as losing and not playing at your best level. Negative- Being to motivated can be very negative in sports as you can get over motivated and this will make you want to train more and more.

Elite athletes are under a lot of pressure to perform well at all times so that’s why the train more often. However this can be bad as your muscles would become stale and you suffer from depression and mood swings also you body would suffer from burnout this is where your body does not want to participate in activities that they used to enjoy, this is due to being unhappy or tired.

Motivational Climate

The motivational climate is the environment in which an athlete finds themselves and this affects their motivation positively and negatively. A motivational climate that is focused on mastery of tasks where athletes receive positive reinforcement and there is greater emphasis of teamwork and cooperation this will help build up motivation through teamwork and help improve athletes attitudes to sports performance and effort and their learning. To develop an effective motivational climate, Epstein

(1989) suggested the TARGET technique:

• Tasks – having a range of tasks that require the athlete to actively participate in learning and decision making. • Authority – giving athletes authority over monitoring and evaluating their own learning and decisions making. • Reward – using rewards that are focused on individual improvement rather than comparing levels to other athletes. • Grouping – giving athletes the opportunity to work in groups so that they develop skills in a group based environment. • Evaluation – focusing on an individual’s effort and improvement. • Timing – timing activities effectively so that all of the above conditions can interact effectively.


Personality and motivation have a huge role of affecting your sports performance, the different theories above show how it can affect in different ways. Nothing has been proved by scientists but the theories can help you understand in the different ways how it affects your performance and weather it enhances or decreases you performance. Motivation is an essential component of having a successful sporting performance, but it has positive and both negative effects. Someone is motivated to play, perform and train at an optimal level and are thought by other people to play at a high standard with experience an increase in performance, it is the role of athletes, coaches and managers support the athlete to keep an optimal level of motivation without experiencing any kind of negative side effects.

Being over motivated can cause huge problems for different athletes, all athletes are usually under huge pressure to perform at a high level, so they feel the need to train more and more to try and increase their overall performance. Over motivating yourself can lead to a huge line up of training schedule it can lead to overtraining, staleness and burnout. Staleness is a response to over training. The key sign is the athlete is unable to maintain a previous performance level and their performance would of decreased greatly.

Other signs and symptoms of staleness would be that the athlete has massive mood swings and often comes depressed and this is related to the fact that the athlete is over doing it and it signs of not coping. The other sign is something called a “burnout” this happens when the athlete is trying to meet training and competition depends and has often failed so they keep trying harder and take part in the different activities that they used to enjoy. Burnout should not be confused in any shape or form of dropping out of something they love, or because they are tired or very unhappy.

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