Motivation and emotion/Book/2021/Endurance sport motivation
What motivates people to engage in endurance sports?
Overview[edit | edit source]
Within sports of today athletes are breaking the boundaries of what is possible with the human body. The determination and dedication of these athletes inspires the generations of the past, future and present. With the boundaries of human performance being pushed the training and stress to the body is enormous, so what is the motivation factors that drives human to push the envelope of impossible? Through this chapter we will uncover the factors motivating endurance athletes to compete and train in a sport where pain is pleasure. Making key relationships between motivation types and how they influence the athlete and what type of motivation is key to success. Investigation will also be placed on personality types and motivation, questioning if there is a personality trait that motivates certain individuals to strive for success (Aicher et al., 2017).
Introduction[edit | edit source]
Definition of endurance[edit | edit source]
Endurance is defined as the ability to undertake prolonged unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving in. The definition of Endurance explains the pain and suffering needed to complete an endurance activity. There is no distinct time frame for what is classified "Endurance" yet the building of endurance is crucial which demonstrates that it is not a skill you are born with yet a skill or trait that is learned or earned. (McCall & Lowe, 2009). Humans are pre disposed to certain traits that allows for longer concentration or have slow twitch muscle rather then fast twitch and vis versa. Yet having natural endurance is not possible. Humans are born with characteristic that help with the gaining of endurance yet being born with this trait is not reality (Hoppeler et al., 1985).
Definition of motivation[edit | edit source]
Motivation as a definition is difficult to pin point. Motivation is the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal orientated behaviours. It is what causes you to act in a way, whether its reaching for a glass of water or running a marathon there is always an end goal that motivates a certain behaviour. There are three main types of motivation seen within humanity, those being, Intrinsic, Extrinsic and Amotivation.
- Intrinsic motivation - Is defined as doing an activity for its inherent satisfaction rather than for some separable consequence. For example an individual leaving the house for a run due to the fact that the inherent satisfaction of running is gained (Cerasoli et al., 2014).
- Extrinsic motivation - Is defined as a reward driven behaviour, it is a type of operant conditioning, motivation gained by external rewards for Medals, Money or Fame/Praise. External Factors are the driving force for extrinsic motivation. For example a high level sports athlete competing for olympic medals and the incentives that come with that achievement (Cerasoli et al., 2014).
- Amotivation - Is the natural state of the environment. Amotivation is the complete absence of both Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation. Amotivation is not a specific psychiatric condition but it is a feeling that can be held toward certain activities. For example an individual not having a drive to complete a task they aren't even thinking about doing it (Cerasoli et al., 2014).
What is the classification of an endurance sport[edit | edit source]
Defining endurance sports comes down to the certain type of energy system used. Within an endurance sport the system used is the Aerobic System. There are two specific systems used within humans when completing exercise, the Anaerobic System and Aerobic System. The Anaerobic System can be classified as no oxygen and no lactate and is fuelled by ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and is used for short high power sports. Whereas Endurance sport functions on the Aerobic System, this system uses carbohydrates, fats and in some cases of extreme exertion proteins as its fuel source meaning it can be sustained for longer periods of time (Serresse et al., 1988). Endurance sports are completed over a longer period of time generally surpassing 10 minutes of sustained energy. Examples of Endurances sport are, long distance running events 1500m and over, Long distance swimming events over 800m (see figure 1) and cycling over 3km.
Introduction of the case study[edit | edit source]
Thorough the chapter reference will be made back to the case study of Sara.
Sara is a 23 year old female marathon runner, she is studying psychology at the university of Canberra and is a member of the elite athlete program. She isn't familiar with here motivation or personality type, and as a part of an elite athlete program it is important for her to discover what drives her toward success.
Motivation behind endurance[edit | edit source]
With the definition of endurance and certain types of motivation, it is time to make links and drawn on the experiences of the past and present. Motivation is a human mechanism for achievement within sports and harvesting that is what can be the fire that sparks many great achievements. The different motivation types within individuals harvest different reasons for engaging in endurance sports and their personality traits are seen to influence their motivations (Taylor et al., 2020).
Quiz (8Q) [edit | edit source]
Motivation and personality types[edit | edit source]
Motivation from an outsiders point of view is one reason behind the drive that makes an individual compete in an endurance sport. Yet with two comparable personality types, there are differences in the way that these differing personalities effect peoples motivation. Introverts and Extroverts have functional differences in the their motivation. Differences between Introvert and Extrovert will be unpacked, as well as the relationship between Pain and Pleasure.
Endurance a relationship between pain and pleasure[edit | edit source]
Developing relationships between two different variables that directly promote an individual to succeed in an endurance sport allows for an understanding between the aspects of pain and pleasure within elite and participation endurance athletes. Pain and Pleasure don't seem to be two words people would generally associate together yet in a sporting context Pain is in many ways pleasure to the athletes. Pushing the barrier of what is humanly bearable in regards to the pain threshold for many is not seen to be something that is a "pleasurable experience" yet harvesting the mentality of turning a painful experience and rendering it pleasurable will be what could develop a champion from a host of many (See figure 1.5). Creating links and forming relationships as to how pain can be a motivation through the seeking of pleasure. The experience of pain can benefit our defence systems and allow us to enhance our motivation to accumulate resources that ultimately lead to pleasure such and calorie rich food, also reducing guilt we feel after competing in self indulgence (McNarry et al., 2020). The actual terminology of "Pain is Pleasure" realistically isn't correct yet with painful experiences pleasurable out comes are a reward, like eating that piece of cake, meeting health goals or feeling the burn post run.
What personality traits are the most motivated[edit | edit source]
Motivation and personality types come hand in hand when reviewing reward preferences. There are a two distinct personality types that are frequently referenced in personality studies being introvert and extravert. The definition of these two personality types explain the distinct traits they have.
- Extravert - Extraversion is the state of primarily receiving gratification external to ones self. Extraverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive and gregarious (Reiss, 2012).
- Introvert - Introversion is a personality trait is focused predominantly on ones own mental self. Introverts are typically perceived as more reserved and reflective (Reiss, 2012).
Within a sporting context it is important to capture what makes an individual successful compared to another individual. Comparing these two personality types will help paint the picture as to what makes an individual strive towards goals for different purposes. Personality has been seen to have effects on the way individuals are open to different motivation strategies. Introverts are more likely to respond to internal motivation factors where extroverts tend to respond more effectively to the presence of actual motivators external from the individual (Pelletier et al., 1995).
Introverts tend to take on a "followers" mentality meaning that individuals who are introverted are not driven by exceeding expectations of their peers, these individuals tend to be happy with the fact they are meeting requirements with little to no emphasis put on their individual work (Reiss, 2012).
Extroverted individuals have a tendency to be the driving forces behind many decisions within a team setting. Motivation of an Extroverted individual comes from an external drive to reach a goal from what is seen to be external to an individual rather then internal (Reiss, 2012).
Concluding which personality type is more motivated it can be said there are key differences as to which of the two main personality types is more motivated yet it can be concluded that extraverts are more motivated based of the Reiss study of 2012.
Did you know?[edit | edit source]
Within the many classifications of endurance sports spanning from, outstanding Athletes (11hrs more) to average athletes (less then 4 hrs) the large population of these athletes falling into these categories (73%) are extroverted individuals (Egloff & Gruhn, 1996).
Case study[edit | edit source]
Introversion and Extroversion are difficult to pick, Sara is trying to discover what motivation type she is. There are many ways in which discovering a personality type can be done yet self-discovery of a personality type can be difficult.
Sara is a 23-year-old marathon runner studying Psychology at the University of Canberra, she loves to train with friends and her times are always quicker when she is training within a group rather than by herself. Her coach is always wanting her to do more solo training due to the fact it will help her running in the long term, yet she finds it difficult to complete whole sessions due to the fact there is no support for her during these training sessions
Quiz (3Q)[edit | edit source]
Key word bank[edit | edit source]
-Extravert - Extraversion is the state of primarily receiving gratification external to ones self. Extraverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive and gregarious.
-Introvert - Introversion is a personality trait focused predominantly on ones own mental self. Introverts are typically perceived as more reserved and reflective.
Motivation types and endurance Sport[edit | edit source]
The drive to complete the gruelling training and competition of endurance sports has to come from somewhere and that "somewhere" is a motivation either Intrinsic or Extrinsic. These two very different and specific aspects of motivation play a pivotal role in their own unique ways within the mind of many different endurance athletes. Motivating individuals to compete at a participation level or at the highest level of any event takes on these two different aspects of motivation and in many ways it can influence the reason why an individual completes the event.
Why motivation is the most important aspect of endurance sport[edit | edit source]
Motivation for endurance athletes is crucial to the success and drive of them to train and compete to the highest of capacities. Both Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation are crucial to man kind not only in everyday functioning but also within endurance sport and sport in general. Motivation within endurance sport is mentally harder to harvest due to the pain and tendency's of duration that you undertake for training and racing.
Harvesting ones intrinsic motivation to develop levels of extreme self control is crucial to developing a competitive edge to the other competitors (Taylor et al., 2017). Self control is the theory that develops from making sacrifices to ones lifestyle in terms of diet, sleep and sacrificing aspects of an individuals life for the love of the sport that they are competing in. The 1% competitive edge that can be the key to success in an endurance sport setting is the hardest part to an individuals and motivation is key to reaching this mark. Extrinsically motivated individuals are driven form external factors like, Medals, Money and Making someone proud or happy (Taylor et al., 2017). This aspect to ones motivation you will find in many top level athletes (See figure 2.) the Extrinsic Motivation of winning Olympic goals or securing that multi million dollar deal with a top level company is what drives an individual to success in the sporting arena.
Intrinsic motivation[edit | edit source]
The relationship between Intrinsic motivation and Endurance sport takes a path away from the traditional sort of views, Intrinsic motivation is built on the basis for completing a task purely due to the fact of want and desire and not for the need to compete for medals and fame (Tsigilis, 2005). Intrinsic motivation is more of a drive for an individual competing in social aspects of endurance sports rather then the drive to be number one, not to take away from the fact that there are individuals who compete at the highest level of the sports they also complete in for pure enjoyment and fulfilment (Tsigilis, 2005).
Competing at the highest level of a sport, that being running, swimming, cycling or any endurance sport, a positive mix of both Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation is where you will find the perfect mix. Intrinsic motivation holds the desire to complete the sport for enjoyment, and Extrinsic motivation for the desire to reach the highest level.
Extrinsic motivation[edit | edit source]
Extrinsic Motivation is defined as a reward driven behaviour, it is a type of operant conditioning, motivation gained by external rewards for Medals, Money or Fame/Praise. External Factors are the driving force for Extrinsic motivation. High level athletes compete at the upmost level of their sport for the gratitude and fames that comes with being the best of the rest. This drive for external recognition is an extrinsic motivation (Reiss, 2012).
Examples of this can be seen with the olympic medal winners, a whole life of dedication to the sport and specific disciple they compete in for that chance to gain the olympic medal and the title that comes with it "Olympic Champion". This display of dedication and ultimate sacrifice is a prime example of Extrinsic Motivation.
What motivation is the best for endurance sports[edit | edit source]
A mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is the ideal mix for competitors of sports at the highest level. intrinsically motivated individuals will find enjoyment in the participation of an endurance sport. On the other hand extrinsically motivated individuals will find drive and motivation form the external factors like Money, Medals and fame yet this drive can lead to burn out. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can lead to the perfect mix of motivation types, the drive from external factors like fame and rewards and the internal drive of enjoyment and desire leads to heightened levels of endurance sport success (Aicher et al., 2017)
Quiz (3Q)[edit | edit source]
Key word bank[edit | edit source]
- Intrinsic Motivation - is defined as doing an activity for its inherent satisfactions rather than for some separable consequence. For example, an individual leaving the house for a run due to the fact that the inherent satisfaction of running is gained.
- Extrinsic Motivation - is defined as a reward-driven behaviour, it is a type of operant conditioning, motivation gained by external rewards for Medals, Money or Fame/Praise. External Factors are the driving force for extrinsic motivation. For example, a high-level sports athlete competing for Olympic medals and the incentives that come with that achievement.
- Amotivation - Is the natural state of the environment. Amotivation is the complete absence of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Amotivation is not a specific psychiatric condition but it is a feeling that can be held toward certain activities. For example, an individual not having a drive to complete a task they aren't even thinking about doing it.
Chapter quizzes[edit | edit source]
Quiz Time |
Conclusion[edit | edit source]
Human beings are motivated from internal and external motives also know as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, these motivations are influential in the drive to compete as an endurance athlete, that being either for participation or at an elite level. These intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are not the only influences on an individuals motivation. A persons personality type is yet another highly influential aspect to ones motivation, introverts and extroverts have differing drives to complete tasks with Introverts generally competing tasks not for the sake of another individual yet just for personal pleasure and not to prove the selves to an external influence. Where as an extroverted individual is predominantly out to provide satisfaction for others and in doing so their on needs are serviced. 'Pain and pleasure' is another concept that develops from an individuals motivation type, the concept of pain and pleasure is inherently associated with both an Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivated individual. All theses concepts form one big picture of what make an individual an endurance athlete and what motivation is behind the training and competition.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Anorexia nervosa and extrinsic motivation (Book chapter, 2016)
- Endurance sport motivation (Book chapter, 2020)
References[edit | edit source]
Cerasoli, C. P., Nicklin, J. M., & Ford, M. T. (2014). Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic incentives jointly predict performance: a 40-year meta-analysis. Psychological bulletin, 140(4), 980. doi, https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035661
Egloff, B., & Gruhn, A. J. (1996). Personality and endurance sports. Personality and individual differences, 21(2), 223-229.- personal and motivation. doi, https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(96)00048-7
Eysenck, H. J., Nias, D. K. B., & Cox, D. N. (1982). Sport and personality. Advances in behaviour research and therapy, 4(1), 1-56. doi, https://doi.org/10.1016/0146-6402(82)90004-2
Hoppeler, H., Howald, H., Conley, K., Lindstedt, S. L., Claassen, H., Vock, P., & Weibel, E. R. (1985). Endurance training in humans: aerobic capacity and structure of skeletal muscle. Journal of applied physiology, 59(2), 320-327. doi, https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.19220.127.116.110
Leknes, S., & Bastian, B. (2014). The benefits of pain. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 5(1), 57-70. doi, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-014-0178-3
McCall, S., & Lowe, E. J. (2009). The definition of endurance. Analysis, 69(2), 277-280. doi, https://doi.org/10.1093/analys/anp015
McNarry, G., Allen-Collinson, J., & Evans, A. B. (2020). “You always wanna be sore, because then you are seeing results”: Exploring positive pain in competitive swimming. Sociology of Sport Journal, 37(4), 301-309. doi, https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.2019-0133
Pelletier, L. G., Tuson, K. M., Fortier, M. S., Vallerand, R. J., Briere, N. M., & Blais, M. R. (1995). Toward a new measure of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation in sports: The Sport Motivation Scale (SMS). Journal of sport and Exercise Psychology, 17(1), 35-53. doi, https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.17.1.35
Reiss, S. (2012). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Teaching of Psychology, 39(2), 152-156. doi, https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0098628312437704
Serresse, O., Lortie, G., Bouchard, C., & Boulay, M. R. (1988). Estimation of the contribution of the various energy systems during maximal work of short duration. International journal of sports medicine, 9(06), 456-460. doi, http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-2007-1025051
Taylor, I. M., Boat, R., & Murphy, S. L. (2020). Integrating theories of self-control and motivation to advance endurance performance. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 13(1), 1-20. doi, https://doi.org/10.1080/1750984X.2018.1480050
Tsigilis, N. (2005). The influence of intrinsic motivation on an endurance field test. Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 45(2), 213. Retrieved from, https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/influence-intrinsic-motivation-on-endurance-field/docview/202710640/se-2?accountid=28889
[edit | edit source]
- An argument into if endurance sport is worth the effort (LifeCare.com)
- An explanatory video of personality and motivation (Youtube.com)
- Mental Toughness and personality (Frontiers.org)
- 5 Traits Present in Most Successful Endurance Athletes (trainingpeaks.com)