Increasing more intrinsic motivations in young athletes

Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination Theory suggests that people are motivated when they have feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. SDT proposes that intrinsic motivators enhance motivation better than extrinsic motivators, and Dan Pink in Drive cited numerous studies to support the importance of intrinsic motivators compared to extrinsic motivators (rewards and punishments) for any task involving even rudimentary cognitive skills; for an algorithmic task, that is one where the person simply follows a set of instructions, punishment and rewards improved performance. […]

Self-Determination Theory, Intrinsic Motivation, and Youth Sports Participation

The self-determination theory states that autonomy, competence, and relatedness maintain or enhance intrinsic motivation (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Interestingly, the theory is based on the idea that in many cases, we start with intrinsic motivation, and we need to find ways to maintain or not retard that motivation. Rather than trying to motivate someone, we need to avoid de-motivating him or her. This is especially true with youth sports, which are inherently enjoyable activities.  […]

Motivational Traits of Elite Performers

Dr. Craig Stewart, a professor at the University of Montana, sent an article titled “Motivational Traits of Elite Young Soccer Players.” In the paper, older players scored higher than younger players in their motivation to avoid failure. The article states: It has been determined that players who seek to avoid failure will avoid achievement-oriented behavior, Read more about Motivational Traits of Elite Performers[…]

Play and Intrinsic Motivation

In The Power of Mindful Learning, Ellen J. Langer tells the story of her friend: A writer friend of mine was trying to concentrate on writing when some school-age children started up a hilarious, noisy game below his window. He asked them to leave. Since he was breaking up what clearly seemed a delightful scene, Read more about Play and Intrinsic Motivation[…]

The Ins and Outs of Motivation

Article originally appeared in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, November/December 2009. In the summer of 2002, I worked the Stanford University women’s basketball camp. In 2002, the And1 Mix-Tapes were nearing the height of their popularity. At the camp, a couple girls saw me messing around and doing some ball-handling tricks during the first break. Read more about The Ins and Outs of Motivation[…]